Professor Nestor Davidson co-wrote an op-ed on how local governments are struggling to tackle issues surrounding COVID-19 in their cities due to state law restraints.
Cities and counties across the U.S. are being forced to battle two catastrophes — COVID-19 and the eviction crisis — with their hands tied. In the face of inadequate federal and state responses, local governments are struggling to adopt policies that will keep their communities safe and people in their homes.
But some states are using preemption to block cities and counties from containing the pandemic by prohibiting local masking and stay-at-home orders, even where there was a local demand for the adoption of such policies. And now there is a real concern that states will preempt local government from adopting eviction moratoriums in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect families from harm during the pandemic.
Local action to protect tenants is essential and the authority of cities and counties to act in the best interest of their communities must be affirmed and fortified. Without it, local governments will be unequipped to prevent an unparalleled housing crisis, along with the unnecessary infection and mortality it will cause.