‘The numbers are rising by the minute’ | The Greensboro Housing Coalition has acquired a whole bunch of rental and help requests

Josie Williams, the organization’s executive director, said if the housing situation doesn’t improve – we could face a crisis similar to that of 2008.

GREENSBORO, NC – A pandemic before the pandemic.

This is how the executive director of the Greensboro Housing Coalition explains affordable housing in the triad.

As the coronavirus continues to rage, we are finding better ways to deal with it. But when it comes to housing, Josie Williams fears that if the situation doesn’t improve, we could face a crisis similar to that of 2008.

“You see people already living from paycheck to paycheck. You see our most vulnerable expenditures spending over 30 percent of their income on basic necessities when making decisions between paying rent, eating out, or paying an electric bill,” said Williams. This could be a lot worse than what we saw in 2008. We didn’t have COVID-19 in 2008 – and you will remember how drastic that was. “

Williams, the organization’s new executive director, says this was the pre-pandemic reality. Now the virus is amplifying these problems and creating a widespread ripple effect.

“It’s not just about, well, these are just low-income people,” she said. “If our living structure is affected as it is, it will affect you, me, and everyone around town.”

Within three weeks they received around 800 applications for rent and utility assistance – this funding is provided by the city through the CARES law.

Williams says the more than $ 700,000 allocated for aid will likely be used up in about three months – but the need will remain.

“The numbers are steadily increasing by the minute. I’m not exaggerating – minute by minute, like literally minute by minute,” she said.

She says that is why the additional funding promised by the governor this week is so important, and understanding that need is vital.

“Housing is a central economic incentive for our structure in our city and in our state.”

Williams estimates the Housing Coalition will receive around 1,000 requests for assistance by the end of the weekend.

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