Housing of Cards
Over the last two decades, Brandy Borts has moved more than 40 times but she is thankful to have housing at all in one of the most expensive counties in the country. Each night, she goes home to an apartment she has inhabited for five years—her longest stint in town. The building is thick with black mold and has asbestos in the paint. She was sick for the majority of the winter.
Although Borts doesn’t have a lease and hasn’t been able to reach her landlord during the COVID-19 pandemic, she is grateful that her building was not torn down in April as planned, and that she hasn’t been kicked out. Construction was stalled in her neighborhood due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says she feels fortunate to have a home, however unstable the situation but she is “very nervous” to lose the roof over her head.
Like Borts, many renters aren’t sure where to turn for relief. Wyoming renters and homeowners alike could face hefty bills post COVID-19, compromised credit, potential food insecurity, and for some, the prospect of homelessness.
The U.S. House of Representatives on May 15 approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act—the most ambitious economic relief response to the novel coronavirus yet. The $3 trillion legislation designates $100 billion for emergency rental assistance and eviction protection, along with $75 billion of direct assistance for mortgage payments and other housing costs. But the bill remains stalled in the Senate.
Click here to listen to this interview on KHOL radio.