The economic fallout of COVID-19 is devastating.
Millions of low-wage workers have been laid off, making it virtually impossible to pay the rent or mortgage; for instance, the average rent for an apartment in Durham can go well over $1,000, taking up nearly the full amount given to beneficiaries from the emergency legislation, leaving next to no money for food, insurance and countless other essentials.
Though I am grateful Congress has passed emergency legislation to help people experiencing housing instability and homelessness, more action is needed. In the next coronavirus response bill, Congress must pass a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and provide substantial resources for emergency rental assistance.
We must also look ahead. Creating a refundable "renters' tax credit" to help low-income renters cover rising housing costs will give people the financial security to know that when the next crisis comes, we will be ready.
I urge our members of Congress to promptly pass measures to help struggling workers and families secure stable housing to get them through this crisis and beyond.
Joon Young Lee is a Trinity first-year.