Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare Ananya Roy spoke to the New York Times about the affordable housing crisis and growing issue of homelessness in California. While the eviction moratorium has been a “safety net of sorts” for communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a “postponement of the crisis, rather than a solution,” Roy said in a lengthy interview. “Its disappearance will be sure to expand and expedite evictions.” Roy, director of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, called for “full rental debt cancellation and public investment in housing for working-class communities.” She predicted that the economic impact of the pandemic will result in a “housing crisis worse than the Great Depression,” prompting mass evictions and exacerbating homelessness. To avoid this, Roy recommended that the government buy and convert vacant and distressed properties into low-income housing, a solution that is faster and less expensive than building new housing.
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