To the editor,

As families grapple with the stress of this year’s back-to-school season and worry about the well-being of their children in hybrid and remote learning setups, countless people are terrified that they may be evicted and end up living on the street or in a shelter before winter recess. 

New York is a city of renters. Two-thirds of residents––5.4 million people––rent their homes. As COVID-19 related unemployment remains at a staggering, historic high, 1 in 4 renters––more than 1 million people––have fallen behind in rent payments. 

Even if federal legislation passed tomorrow, there would still be hundreds of thousands of families who would be left out: people who don’t qualify for unemployment and who are part of the informal economy.

As even more families experience homelessness, our federal legislators must step in to fix this crisis. One solution is ensuring that $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is allocated through the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act.

This must happen for the sake of our families and our children. They cannot wait any longer.

Áine Duggan, president and CEO The Partnership for the Homeless