Latest Update: August 3, 2020, 10:30 am, ET
COVID-19 will have severe short- and long-term impacts on the well-being of under-resourced communities. The crisis is not just a health crisis- it is a housing crisis, an energy crisis, a poverty crisis, and an economic crisis.
Energy Efficiency for All is committed to ensuring that policies and practices are in place to support the energy and housing needs of marginalized communities who were already struggling before this crisis hit. We hope the information provided here will be a useful resource to EEFA partners and others who are working towards an equitable response to COVID-19.
- NHT & NRDC co-authored a blog about how the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting African Americans hardest. This blog is also available in Spanish.
EEFA Pandemic Response Guidance
The impacts from COVID-19 and the accompanying economic recession will worsen America’s housing crisis and likely force households to make tradeoffs between food, medicine, energy, and housing. This problem isn’t new to Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA), and we know the impact is most felt by people of color in this country. We agree with the NAACP that “we must address the systemic underpinnings of inequity” while also providing an emergency response that meets the critical needs in our communities.
EEFA is highlighting policies actively being developed by community groups, local, state, and federal government, mission-driven nonprofit organizations, and academic researchers for protection against eviction and other housing issues. These recommendations can be tailored for any state or local jurisdiction to immediately advocate for the health and safety of everyone. When delivering recommendations please be aware that state and local decision-makers are dealing with many urgent COVID-19 related matters, and we all need to prioritize keeping people healthy and safe during this crisis.
Read an overview of the Pandemic Response Guidance
Download the complete Pandemic Response Guidance
EEFA Coalition & Partner Responses
EEFA Coalition Letters
California EEFA Coalition’s Pandemic Response Guidance & Recovery Recommendations
California EEFA’s Recommendations to the Governor’s Taskforce on Business and Jobs Recovery
EEFA Georgia’s letter urging Governor Kemp to take immediate action to ensure that Georgians remain connected to essential utility services.
EEFA Georgia’s letter to state and local officials recommending the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding from the CARES Act for housing assistance.
The Illinois EEFA coalition’s letter to Illinois state and local leaders urging them to prioritize using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to provide rental assistance to ensure that impacted households can remain stably housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Illinois EEFA’s letter to Governor Pritzker urging his office to take further action to assist residents who are experiencing issues related to housing.
Illinois EEFA’s letter to the Illinois Commerce Commission recommending that they adopt protections and priorities that ensure that no Illinois family has to face uncertainty about access to essential energy and water services.
Maryland Energy Efficiency Advocates (MEEA)’s letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission submitting comments on potential EmPOWER Maryland program investments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Michigan EEFA coalition’s letter calling on Governor Whitmer to enact statewide utility shut-off protections, ensure continued access to clean water, expand energy efficiency and energy assistance, and implement strong eviction and foreclosure protections and critical housing assistance.
Michigan EEFA’s letter calling on Michigan state and local leaders to use Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to provide rental assistance to residents facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network (MMAHEN)’s letter to leaders in Minnesota urging use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for housing assistance.
MMAHEN’s letter to Governor Walz recommending steps to protect utility customers in Minnesota.
Missouri EEFA’s letter to state, local, and utility leaders urging strong leadership and action to protect Missourians’ access to utility services and affordable housing.
EEFA New York’s letter to the New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC) opposing multiple intervenors who are requesting that NY PSC halt collectio nof clean energy program funds due to COVID-19.
North Carolina EEFA’s letter to Governor Cooper urging him to extend and revise the utility shutoff moratorium that is set to expire on May 31.
EEFA Partner Responses
A letter written by Association for Affordable Energy, an EEFA partner, and others regarding workforce protections.
The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP), an EEFA partner, led and developed a letter urging the Department of Human Services to protect vulnerable households through utility relief.
Utility Disconnection Policies
For information about utility disconnection policies related to COVID-19, visit these resources:
Electric and Gas:
Additional Utility Disconnection Resources:
National Consumer Law Center brief Covid-19 Pandemic Requires Federal, State and Municipal Action to Stop Involuntary Utility, Water, and Telecommunications Shut-offs
NRDC blog post Suspend Shutoffs of Essential Utility Services in Crisis
Edison Electric Institute’s announcement that all member companies are suspending electricity disconnects for non-payment nationwide
NRDC blog post Ensuring Access to Energy More Important Than Ever
Fresh Energy’s blog post by Ben Passer, state lead of the Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network(MMAHEN), about what COVID-19 means for energy access and equity
Peninsula Clean Energy approved an automatic $100 bill credit to all customers on the low-income rate. No application or further qualification required. The credit is automatically applied to the customer’s April bill.
NRDC blog on why federal relief should support healthier energy efficiency.
Eviction and Housing Policies
Eviction Moratoria Tracking:
Eviction moratoria vary widely. Regional Housing Legal Services is tracking the quality of states’ eviction moratoriums and how many phases of the recommended phases of eviction the orders cover.
CARES Act Analysis:
National Housing Trust’s analysis of the CARES Act, the $2 trillion fiscal stimulus bill.
National Housing Trust’s one-page fact sheet about why Community Development Block Grant funds in the CARES act should be prioritized for rental assistance to ensure that impacted families can remain stably housed during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
National Low Income Housing Coalition’s CARES Act Suggestions on Housing Instability & Homelessness.
National Low Income Housing Coalition article discussing housing provisions in the $2 trillion coronavirus response package.
Additional Housing Response Resources:
National Housing Trust’s Guiding Principles for evaluating policy responses during the COVID-19 crisis
NRDC blog explaining why eviction moratoria are not enough and how rental assistance can support renters and rental housing owners.
Housing Matters’ article When Pandemic Hits, Pausing Evictions Can Help Renters and Landlords - But It’s Not Enough
National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Research Note: The Need for Emergency Rental Assistance During the COVID-19 and Economic Crisis
FHFA announces eviction suspension relief for renters in multifamily properties
Housing Policy Response Tracker
The table below summarizes state and local and housing policies in response to COVID-19. The table includes:
- Announced state and local rental assistance programs and other announced policies
- Announced Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) policies; and
- Proposals for additional relief from advocates.
The list is not exhaustive and is being updated regularly. Please send updates to Todd Nedwick at [email protected]