A tech sprint to tackle housing insecurity as state and federal COVID-19 eviction and foreclosure protections near their end will be led jointly by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the bureau’s acting director said in a blog post Wednesday.
This tech sprint will be one of six being planned by the Census Bureau’s The Opportunity Project (TOP) as “The World Post COVID-19” tech sprint program, with each sprint focusing on post-pandemic challenges.
Dave Uejio, the CFPB’s acting director, wrote that the CFPB-HUD tech sprint will challenge participants to develop innovative tools to raise the visibility of housing assistance resources and “to connect those experiencing housing insecurity with these resources.” Uejio noted that when state and federal protections end, many households will be challenged to resume rent or make back-rental or -mortgage payments, or will face displacement or homelessness. “So, it’s imperative housing assistance resources reach those in need,” he wrote.
“Many displaced homeowners and renters, hoping to find new housing, will confront affordable housing shortages and ever increasing demand on available housing,” he noted.
Uejio also noted the aim of ensuring housing assistance resources getting to landlords, particularly small ones less equipped to handle financial hardships. “These landlords may decide to sell their properties or avoid renting to tenants in need of assistance,” he wrote. As small landlords make up nearly half of all rental units, he said, their decisions will have an impact on many families’ ability to find affordable housing.
Uejio did not specify when the CFPB-HUD sprint will begin, but the TOP website notes that the six being conducted under its auspices involve 12-week product development cycles and that the program will supply participants with subject-matter and data experts to speed progress.
The Opportunity Project (TOP) – Census Bureau