Covering the housing market at a tipping point
Conor Dougherty, who covers housing and business for the New York Times, talks about the issues on his beat given the current economy.
Here is an excerpt:
Before the coronavirus pandemic, I was writing a lot about housing insecurity. Housing in America has been a problem for decades. One in four tenants spent more than half their income on rent. Younger professionals had no chance of buying a house. We had a million evictions a year and about half a million homeless people. So I was focused on housing in a multifaceted way: Why do our federal programs not cover as many people as they should cover? Why is it so difficult to build lower-income housing?
For many reporters, the pandemic shelved a lot of long-term projects. But for me, the opposite happened. What I had been writing about for years became that much worse. The story was no longer about making housing better but about that most basic thing: How do you keep people from being thrown out of their homes?
Housing experts thought there would be a horrific eviction problem at the beginning of the pandemic, but that didn’t happen because the stimulus measures basically worked. There were problems with it, but the $600 weekly supplement, the $1,200 one-time stimulus and all the eviction moratoriums passed by a large majority of states, the federal government and a ton of cities helped avert a crisis.
Read more here.