For the Crisis Yet to Come: Temporary Settlements in the Era of Evictions
For the Crisis Yet to Come: Temporary Settlements in the Era of Evictions is the final report in a three-part series on housing justice and evictions during COVID-19, prepared and published by the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy. In keeping with guidance from unhoused people, legal advocates, and community-based researchers, this report strongly advises governments to sanction existing self-organized communities of unhoused people and maintain sanitation stations on-site. Additionally, this report cautiously recommends that area governments establish sanctioned and serviced temporary settlements, where tents and tiny structures can offer private, socially distanced forms of shelter to unhoused people. These recommendations are made with deep reservations, and with clear stipulations: settlements such as these should only be implemented alongside other, better measures; their existence does not justify sweeps of existing self-organized encampments; residence within these settlements must be voluntary, not compulsory; these sites should not be heavily policed or surveilled; and they are only appropriate as temporary forms of emergency shelter. This report is offered as guidance for policymakers and organizers alike seeking to better support housing insecure and unhoused people during and after the pandemic.