Pew Stateline Quotes CLPHA Executive Director, Members on Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on PHAs

Date Published: 
March 20th, 2020

Pew Charitable Trust's state policy news outlet Stateline quoted CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman and CLPHA member executive directors in an article about the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on public housing authorities.

Zaterman told Stateline that PHAs need $5 billion in emergency supplemental funding  due to several challenges PHAs are facing during this crisis, including a "significant reduction" in rental income, a dramatically reduced workforce, massive cleaning-related expenses, and communications challenges with residents while PHAs' physical offices are closed. PHAs also need a further $3.5 billion in emergency supplemental funds for the for the Housing Choice Voucher program.

“I’m worried,” Emilio Salas, acting executive director of the Los Angeles County Development Authority, told Stateline. “Tremendously.”

Douglas Guthrie, president and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, told Stateline that his PHA is working hard to address his city's homelesssness crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We can't wait for waivers from HUD to do what needs to be done today,” Guthrie said. “Shelter is the most important thing right now.”

Andrew Lofton, executive director of the Seattle Housing Authority, told Stateline that PHAs are also preparing for the inevitable surge of residents who test positive for COVID-19: "It’s just a matter of time."

Read Stateline's article "Public Housing Authorities Hit Hard by the Pandemic."

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