WASHINGTON – With under-resourced communities facing severe short- and long-term impacts from the COVID-19 crisis, the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) project today released Pandemic Response Guidance to highlight recommended actions for local and state policymakers to take for protection against utility shutoffs, evictions, and other related COVID-19 issues.
“This crisis is more than a health crisis – it is magnifying the disproportionate burdens of housing, energy, and poverty that marginalized communities face each day,” said Deron Lovaas, EEFA’s co-director at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The guidance highlights policies being developed by community groups; local, state, and federal governments; mission-driven nonprofit organizations; and academic researchers. The recommendations can be used for advocacy and policy development at the state and local levels to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
“Energy Efficiency for All is committed to ensuring that actions to address COVID-19 reflect the specific needs of marginalized communities,” said EEFA co-director Todd Nedwick of the National Housing Trust. “The recommendations can be tailored for any state or local jurisdiction.”
The Energy Efficiency for All project’s guidance details several topics, including:
- Ensuring access to essential energy and water services;
- Preventing eviction and preserving affordable housing;
- Protecting all vulnerable workers;
- Expanding access to internet and phone services; and
- Prioritizing remediation of unhealthy homes.
EEFA also is tracking COVID-19-related state and local actions related to eviction moratoria; rental assistance programs and other housing actions; updated Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) policies; and proposals for additional housing relief from advocates. The information can be found here.
The Energy Efficiency for All project was founded by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Housing Trust, Elevate Energy, and the Energy Foundation to increase energy efficiency in affordable housing. EEFA works with partners in 12 states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to ensure all renters live in homes that are affordable and healthy.
NRDC’s Laura Goldberg and Bella Spies, both with the EEFA project, have posted a blog here.
Energy Efficiency for All unites people from diverse sectors and backgrounds to collectively make multifamily affordable homes energy and water efficient. We do this work so people in under-invested communities – particularly black, Latinx, and other communities of color – who have been marginalized can equitably benefit from the health, economic, and environmental advantages of energy and water efficiency. EEFA is a partnership of the Energy Foundation, Elevate Energy, National Housing Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council, and fifty affordable housing, health, energy, environmental, and community leaders across the country. For more information, visit www.energyefficiencyforall.org