In light of the quickly escalating threat posed to public health by the COVID-19 outbreak, Abundant Housing LA joins Mayor Eric Garcetti, State Sen. Scott Wiener, and Assemblyman Phil Ting among others in urging local and state lawmakers to approve a temporary moratorium on evictions. Our public health infrastructure faces a serious challenge from this pandemic, and now is not the time to deprive even more vulnerable people of their housing. Public health officials have recommended “sheltering at home” and maintaining social distance in order to protect against COVID-19 and for those already infected to recuperate. For people losing homes, these life-saving practices become impossible. Evicting people and pushing them into cramped shared housing or into public spaces greatly increases their risk of exposure, and complicates our collective battle against further spread of COVID-19. Now is the time to keep people in their homes.
The current outbreak serves as a reminder that the housing shortage is a direct threat to public health for all of Los Angeles. The crowded or poor-quality shelter that far too many Angelenos are forced to live in make the task of combatting this and future outbreaks much more difficult. While solving the housing crisis can only be accomplished through sustained housing production, a temporary moratorium on evictions right now would protect countless lives during this critical fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge our elected leaders to take this step immediately.