Pandemic escalates Wisconsin’s housing crisis, particularly in Milwaukee — 8/24/20

A roundup of top news and information about Wisconsin’s response to the coronavirus

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Today we highlight our own coverage of Wisconsin’s escalating evictions crisis during the pandemic, particularly for Black residents in Milwaukee. 

Gov. Tony Evers was among the first governors to lift a state moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic, and his $25 million statewide emergency rental assistance program is failing to meet the demands of thousands in need.

Milwaukee landlords filed more than 1,400 evictions in June and 1,300 in July, both higher than pre-pandemic averages, according to our story by Allison Dikanovic and Clara Neupert of Wisconsin Watch and Princess Safiya Byers of Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. More than two-thirds of the filings hit Black-majority neighborhoods.

Neupert and Dikanovic also offer a guide on how to navigate state and local rental assistance programs

Top Stories

Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Wyconda Clayton is seen inside her home in Milwaukee on July 17, 2020. Black women are at least twice as likely to have an eviction filed against them compared to white renters in Wisconsin and 16 other states, according to an ACLU analysis of 2012-16 Eviction Lab data.

‘Nowhere to go’: Wisconsin renters face evictions as emergency aid falls shortWisconsin Watch/Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

How to navigate the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program and other resources for rentersWisconsin Watch/Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service 

North central, Fox Valley regions see most COVID-19 hospitalizations since pandemic beganWPR 

UW campuses forge ahead in reopening this fall despite growing COVID-19 concernsWisconsin State Journal 

UW-Madison faculty help nation, state plan COVID-19 vaccine allocationWisconsin State Journal 

Brown County coronavirus: Prison cases surge to 185; death toll hits 57Green Bay Press Gazette 

Dane County deputy who died of COVID-19 tested positive ‘several weeks ago,’ hospitalized soon afterWisconsin State Journal

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“Some residents actually started crying, you know some don’t even have family, so that’s really sad. So now it’s like they’re receiving mail, I think it’s such a new thing. They’re treasuring it.”

Lisa Gering, marketing director for Our House Senior Living in Portage, which has launched a pen pal program for residents at a time when visits are restricted due to the coronavirus, as quoted by the Portage Daily Register

Data to note

A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of U.S. Census Bureau survey data illustrates the widespread economic and food security crisis during the pandemic. 

An estimated 246,000 to 336,000 Wisconsin children live in households that are behind in rent or their mortgage and/or did not get enough to eat from June 18 to July 21, according to the analysis released this month. 

An estimated 18.4 million to 19.4 million children nationally fit that criteria, according to the analysis. 

Here are the latest visualizations of COVID-19 cases and deaths from our partners at WisContext.

Resilient Wisconsin

People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us:

‘Our animals were missing people’: Ronda Schwetz on sustaining the zoo amid COVID-19The Cap Times 

Verona company offers antimicrobial solution for playgroundsWisconsin State Journal 

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