Community Advocates Call for Community to Help Families Affected by COVID-19 Housing Crisis
Las Vegas, NV – today, community advocacy groups and individuals including representatives from the Arriba Las Vegas Workers Center and the Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America called on the Las Vegas community to support families affected by COVID-related evictions and housing instability.
Carmella Gadsen, community advocate said:
“This is a public health crisis and a public safety crisis. Houseless individuals are more likely to be victimized: Robbed, beaten, sexually assaulted, and abducted. We are calling on philanthropically-inclined people in our community, people who have the means to help, to sponsor housing. We’re calling on property owners, landlords, and homeowners who have the ability to house even just one family. We are calling on you to help while the City of Las Vegas and Clark County are disbursing CARES Act rental assistance funds. If you can help, visit: bit.ly/vegashousingsupport. If you are a homeowner and need help, there is Mortgage Payment Assistance through Home Means Nevada, Inc.
Enrique Gonzalez, Facing Eviction Proceedings
“This is a situation caused by a pandemic that no one expected. Many of us have not returned to work full-time. It’s difficult to find housing in the market given these circumstances…I’m in eviction proceedings. The [eviction forms] were not served to me properly and legally. Now that I’m in this eviction situation, I don’t have anywhere else to go…Thousands of other people just like me are in this situation. There’s not enough information about where to get resources and food assistance.“
Cecelia Diaz of the Arriba Las Vegas Workers Center said:
“Immigrant workers are an integral part of our community. Immigrant and mixed-status families didn’t receive unemployment benefits, a stimulus check, or paid sick days…Some of our members are resoritng to living in garages, their cars or are hoping that someone will let them sleep on their couch. We’re entering a new phase of the pandemic: Homelessness and Evictions. Since the moratorium has lifted, landlords are using abusive tactics to get tenants out. Come January [when the CDC eviction protections end], I think we are going to see a new wave of evictions and homelessness…We need to ensure that Las Vegans have a home.“
Shaun Navarro of the Democratic Socialists of America said:
“The Nevada State Treasurer’s office estimates that over 130,000 people are facing evictions in the coming months, the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities forecasts that number to be up to 270,000 households, and Nevada still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is already reporting that landlords are not following through with the national CDC Eviction Moratorium. Even before Coronavirus, Las Vegas faced an issue with housing: Predatory lenders, discrimination, thousands of empty homes while thousands are homeless in the streets. The way that we think about housing has destroyed our sense of community. Housing is a basic human right…No one is coming to save us. We have to save ourselves.”