Public Support for Policies to Increase Housing Stability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Craig Evan Pollack, Kathryn M. Leifheit, Emma E. McGinty, Adam S. Levine, Colleen L. Barry, Sabriya L. Linton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated longstanding housing precarity. This study measures the public support for policies designed to increase housing stability and gauges whether support levels are associated with views about the role of evictions in COVID-19 transmission and the existence of racial inequities in the housing market. Methods: A cross-sectional survey with a representative sample of U.S. adults in November 2020 assessed support for 4 housing policies. Logistic regression models estimated the adjusted levels of support for each policy, with separate models testing the association with whether or not a respondent recognized the role of evictions in increased COVID-19 transmission or acknowledged racial inequities in the housing market. Results: Most U.S. adults supported policies aimed to increase housing stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending moratoriums on evictions (63%) and foreclosures (67%) and increasing emergency rental assistance (63%). In total, 54% supported increased government spending on housing vouchers. Adults who agreed that averting eviction would slow COVID-19 transmission had higher support for housing stability policies, as did those who agreed that it was easier for White families to find affordable, high-quality housing than Black families. Conclusions: Support for housing stability policies was strong among U.S. adults, particularly among those who agreed that preventing evictions slowed COVID-19 transmission and among those who acknowledged racial inequities in the housing market. Raising public awareness of the connections among unstable housing, infectious disease transmission, and racial inequity could broaden the support for policies to keep people in their homes through the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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