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CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship September 11, 2020
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September 11, 2020

The Reckless Abandonment Edition. While President Trump admits to misleading the American public on the health threat posed by COVID-19 – and more than 191,000 Americans are dead partly as a result – there can be no denying that the economic threat our country faces is dire. And yet: still no meaningful action from the Senate. Food scarcity in this country is exploding at an alarming rate. An eviction moratorium is in place, but due to loopholes and bureaucracy, people are still being evicted – and tens of millions more will join them early next year unless Congress provides emergency rental assistance. The $600 weekly federal UI payment has long expired – and the temporary, not-quite-workable $300 that the President authorized by taking disaster relief funds from FEMA soon will run out.

Tenants and landlords agree: Emergency rental assistance must accompany moratorium on evictions
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September 10, 2020

Calls on Congress to provide emergency, direct cash assistance to low-income renters and others devastated by the coronavirus pandemic are growing louder – and are coming from an increasingly diverse array of voices, including landlord associations and at least one right-leaning group. It seems that almost everyone wants Congress to act – local government officials, housing advocates, tenants, public health experts, economists, legal aid lawyers, and now, landlord associations. 

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship September 4, 2020
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September 4, 2020

Labor Day Edition.  In August, we saw slower progress in job growth than in the previous two months.  The 1.4 million jobs gained included 238,000 temporary Census workers, whose jobs will end in about a month.  While total unemployment declined to 8.4 percent, it was 13 percent for Blacks, 10.5 percent for Latinx, and 7.3 percent for whites, underscoring continued disparities in the way the pandemic recession is hitting different racial/ethnic groups.  COVID-19 is not going away. “There are several states that are at risk for surging, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci, warning about the possibility of further spread over the holiday weekend.

“So, let them send it in and let them go vote.” 
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September 3, 2020

That’s what President Trump said about voting by mail, in a North Carolina television interview on September 2.  He was responding to a question about the 600,000 absentee ballots that could be mailed in North Carolina for the November election. Voicing skepticism once again over the integrity of mailed ballots, he suggested that people test the system by sending in their absentee ballot and then showing up to vote on Election Day. “…if the system is as good as they say it is, then they obviously won’t be able to vote,” he acknowledged. Okay, so if people follow his suggestion (an intentional act), they would be breaking the law.

CDC agrees:  The national eviction crisis is a public health emergency
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September 2, 2020

Last week, in a blog post headlined, “The national eviction crisis has arrived,” we detailed the sad reality that millions of Americans are now at dire risk of losing their homes. The primary reasons for this are COVID-19, the almost incomprehensible loss of jobs in the U.S., and the failure of Congress to approve comprehensive relief for renters and extend an eviction moratorium on federally backed housing. But the eviction crisis is not just a crisis involving housing and homelessness. Turns out, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) it also constitutes a public health emergency.

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