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Cancelling Rent and Promoting Housing Stability in Greater DC

Join the Urban Institute and the Urban–Greater DC Initiative for a virtual discussion on strategies for promoting housing stability during an economic downturn as the eviction moratoria end in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region.

In the wake of COVID-19, the long-standing affordable housing crisis weighs heavily on renters in Washington, DC, and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia counties. Unemployment rates have skyrocketed, leaving millions of DMV renters struggling to pay rent and driving housing instability. Moratoria will likely end in 2021, back rent will be due, and local renters will continue to struggle with payments as the economic fallout of COVID-19 extends. Past and present racist housing and employment policies exacerbate disparities and risks for people of color, driving the risk of eviction even higher for Black and Latinx renters during and after the pandemic.

Panelists will discuss the DMV’s current housing instability and explore the impacts of lifting the eviction moratorium during the current economic landscape. The conversation will focus on potential policy solutions—such as cancelling rent—for promoting housing stability, preventing a wave of evictions, and contributing to a more equitable recovery in the region.



  • Mychal Cohen, Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Citlalli Velasquez, Senior Organizer and Organizing Lead, DC, Latino Economic Development Center
  • Jheanelle K. Wilkins, Delegate, State of Maryland
  • Monique King-Viehland, Director, State and Local Housing Policy, Urban Institute (moderator)


Revitalizing and Reimagining the DMV after COVID-19 Event Series

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate racial and socioeconomic inequities in the DMV region, this series convenes Urban Institute subject matter experts and local changemakers working on the ground to discuss which policies and programs are needed to support communities in the short-term and how we might reimagine what the region could be, including a framework for equitable growth, in a post-COVID-19 world. The series is part of Urban–Greater DC, an initiative to build knowledge that empowers Urban scholars and local partners to build on the region’s assets to confront inequities and create a region of shared prosperity.


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Image credit: Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock


Date & Time Wednesday, January 27, 2021

  • Former Research Associate
  • Associate Vice President, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy