Get the latest news on COVID vaccines, the eviction moratorium, & more!
Get the latest news on COVID vaccines, the eviction moratorium, & more!
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January 28, 2021 | Volume 25, No. 1 | Archives
Relieved, But Impatient
I’m relieved to see an Administration focused on improving health care, housing, and racial equity. But I’m also impatient to truly fix the big, structural problems we’ve been struggling to address for decades. These last four years, all our advocacy efforts have been defensive, whether we’re desperately battling to keep what we have (like the ACA’s Medicaid expansion), or frantically cushioning the fallout from needlessly cruel policies that did actual harm to people we love (like work requirements, public charge, and many other examples). It’s been exhausting and demoralizing.
But I find strength and joy in our collective HCH community. I hope you do, too. It’s what makes it possible to continue our advocacy for health care and housing as human rights, and for the big changes we know need to happen. We persist in our battle for Justice together, undeterred.
Now it’s time for our offensive game and we still have challenges ahead. Here’s the two-part strategy:
  1. Take a breath, and assess: Take stock of where we are now -- in each of our communities and as a whole. COVID-19 has created an opportunity to approach homelessness in a different way. How can we ensure current improvements outlast the pandemic?

  2. Prepare for the work ahead: Hold Congress and the Biden Administration accountable for advancing significant funding increases and policy changes. We also need to press our state and local governments to do the same.
The arc of Justice is long.
Onward we go, in steadfast solidarity.
Barbara DiPietro, Senior Director of Policy
Vaccines, Vaccines, Vaccines
While experts predict a slow start to President Biden’s "100 million in 100 days" plan, the new administration promises to release most available doses and be more involved in the process of vaccine allocation to states. Supply disruptions and shifting prioritization tiers have been at the forefront of delays in getting health center staff and people experiencing homelessness vaccinated. See more about Biden's plans for vaccine distribution in the National Strategy For The COVID-19 Response And Pandemic Preparedness.
The HCH Community faces challenges with vaccine acceptance and distribution. In the HCH Community, vaccine acceptance, particularly among the Black community, remains a major factor when planning vaccine distribution. The Council encourages the HCH Community to Take Action by working with state and local officials to make sure vaccines are obtained for health centers and that alternate vaccination sites include shelters, drop-in centers, and mobile clinics. These sites are better equipped to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Eviction Moratorium Extended Through March
The CDC announced an extension of the eviction moratorium (set to expire on January 31) through March 31. Negotiations in Congress continue over the next COVID-19 relief bill, where President Biden’s relief proposal includes an extension of the moratorium through the end of September (see more below and Take Action). Eviction Lab is tracking evictions along with additional moratorium protections provided by some state and city governments.
Congress News to Know
  • Long-overdue COVID-19 relief and 2021 budget passed on December 27. After months of failed negotiations, former President Trump signed Congress’ $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill (summary) as an amendment to the annual budget agreement for fiscal year 2021. (See our budget chart and the Health Center Advocacy Network’s podcast on health center funding.) The bill extended the CDC’s eviction moratorium (which was most recently extended again through March 31) and provided $25 billion in rental assistance; $300 per week of expanded unemployment benefits through mid-March; $600 stimulus checks for individuals; additional food assistance; funds for health care providers; and more.
  • A new Congress gets to work on impeachment, Cabinet confirmations, COVID-19 relief, and more. Democrats in Congress are committed to passing the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal (summary), which includes an extension of the eviction moratoruim through September, an additional $25 billion for rental assistance, and many more important provisions. The path forward in Congress is unclear and complicated by a lack of bipartisan consensus and Trump’s impeachment trial. Take Action and tell your members of Congress to pass a proposal that includes desperately needed housing and health care provisions.
Administration News to Know
  • Biden nominates more key health and housing officials. Last month, Biden nominated former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). See more of Biden’s recent appointees. The Council celebrates the nomination of Rachel Levine for the Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS as the first transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate. Also, longtime friends of the Council, Peggy Bailey (formerly at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) and Richard Cho (formerly at the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness) were sworn in as Senior Advisors to the new HUD Secretary. We look forward to working with all to advance housing and health care as human rights.

  • Biden signs more than a dozen executive orders in his first week. President Biden signed a flurry of executive orders in his first week on COVID-19, racial equity, climate change, immigration, and other issues. (See a chart listing the orders.) Notable to affordable housing advocates are the memorandum instructing HUD to examine the Disparate Impact Rule that makes it harder to file suits against housing discrimination and the order requiring FEMA to cover 100% of the costs of moving people experiencing homelessness in hotels. Look for information in future Mobilizers on how new executive actions will impact the HCH Community.

  • Learn more about the possibilities for change in our health care system under President Biden: Potential Health Policy Administrative Actions Under President Biden and 5 Targeted Actions a Biden Administration Could Use to Expand Medicaid Coverage.
Did you receive Mobilizer as a forwarded email or hear about it via social media? Register now to receive our action alerts each month!
Sign Up for Mobilizer
Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
To be protected under the CDC’s eviction moratorium, renters need to immediately provide a signed declaration to their landlords. Case managers and other staff should continue their work to help clients understand this process and, if possible, complete forms on their behalf. There is no deadline for submission, but it must be filled out for clients to be protected from evictions.
With estimates of up to $57 billion in overdue rent and clear evidence that evictions lead to increased COVID-19 infections and deaths, the CDC’s eviction moratorium, set to expire on March 31,  is not enough. Send a letter to Congress using this easy-to-use portal asking your member to pass Biden’s American Rescue Plan that includes an extension of the eviction moratorium and $25 billion in rental assistance, emphasizing that this amount is still not nearly enough (see detailed housing and homelessness asks and incorporate them in your letter).
The Council’s National Consumer Advisory Board (NCAB) hosts a monthly advocacy meeting as a space for consumers to discuss the issues at the root of housing and health care inequities. The Advocacy Committee is currently looking at how racism impacts health care. This group is open to all consumers (people with the lived experience of homelessness) interested in advocacy work and meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. ET on Zoom. Help us spread the word and contact Katherine Cavanaugh, Consumer Advocacy Manager to join or with questions at

*New* Podcast on Vaccines

In our latest podcast, Regina Reed interviews Katie League, COVID-19 Policy Manager at NHCHC, and David Peery, NHCHC Board Member and NHCHC Consumer Advisory Board Co-Chair. They discuss David’s experience on a COVID-19 vaccine trial and the policies needed to allow for fast and equitable distribution of the vaccine. They also talk about the role of both historical and present-day mistreatment of people of color in the health care system and how to foster trust within communities for the vaccine. Listen, like, rate, and review the Poverty Policy Podcast on Apple, Stitcher, and Soundcloud. Note: All episodes are less than 30 minutes for easy listening on your commute or lunch break!

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This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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