This artifact discusses the overlap between the COVID-19 crisis and the housing and utility affordability crisis. Avila begins by citing statistics for housing and utility debt accumulated during the pandemic, and articualtes how this debt and the housing and utility crisis as a whole mirrors systemic injustices for vulnerable households, such as black, indigenous, and people of color households:
She then discusses the shortcomings of existing assistance programs for both rental and energy assistance, with assistance programs varying in terms of access and eligiblity by jurisdiction. Even with programs in place, there were 898,479 evictions enforced nationally in 2016 alone according to Evictionlab. Prior to COVID-19, Avila states that LIHEAP only reached 15% of eligible households.
Although additional funding for utility and housing assistance was put into effect because of the added burdens created by COVID-19, the distribution of rental assistance has been extremely slow,
Lizzie Avila and Laura Goldberg, "What COVID Taught Us About Reliable Energy & Healthy Homes", contributed by Alison Kenner and Morgan Sarao, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 28 December 2021, accessed 17 August 2022. https://energyrights.info/content/what-covid-taught-us-about-reliable-energy-healthy-homes-2