Spokane nonprofit anticipates housing crisis to worsen

SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane nonprofit that helps families who are homeless is worried about the long-term impacts of the pandemic.

Family Promise of Spokane Executive Director Joe Ader said the group’s family shelter on mission is completely full. They’re usually busy, but the pandemic is partly to blame for an increase in need. Ader explained that even though there is a statewide eviction moratorium in place until mid October, some people are still losing their homes.

“What we are seeing is landlords selling their houses, the smaller landlords that can’t go months and months without rent,” Ader said.

For some families, that means landing on the streets. Ader anticipates the housing situation will be even more dire once the moratorium is lifted. It is scheduled to expire October 15. And after that, another complication.

“We are anticipating a baby boom, December, January, February. These are the COVID babies. So, they’ll be coming,” Ader said. “So we will have eviction crisis with a baby boom and snow on the ground, all at the same time.”

Those are possible problems for the future. Right now, people still have bills piling up.

The Landlord Association of the Inland Northwest estimated that of the 42,000 rental units in Spokane, about 20 percent had delinquent rent payments last month. The majority of those are people who living in low-income housing.

Those aren’t just statistics to Ader. He sees them as real people who need real help.

“We need to pull together to help our neighbors, to help those in need, especially through this winter,” Ader said.

Groups, like Family Promise, are facing their own set of challenges this year. Family Promise of Spokane had to cancel it’s huge spring fundraiser because of COVID-19. The group is hosting a virtual event this week. Ader said it’s not too late to join in raising money and awareness for an important community issue. Learn more HERE.

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