Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst
Addressing the Aftermath Of The COVID-19 Pandemic In America’s Struggling Neighborhoods
Published: June 2020
Author(s): Alan Mallach (Senior Fellow)
As the United States is gripped by the most severe pandemic in over 100 years, much of the country, including most of the nation’s major cities, are grappling with shutdowns, essential service delivery, and millions of families all but confined to their homes. Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst: Addressing the Aftermath Of The COVID-19 Pandemic In America’s Struggling Neighborhoods, by Community Progress Senior Fellow, Alan Mallach, aims to help communities across the U.S. look ahead to proactively consider and combat the budget, equity, and programmatic challenges of a post-COVID-19 environment.
This short guide was prepared in mid-2020 to help local officials and community stakeholders start thinking about how to address the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first section looks at the forces driving the post-pandemic aftermath – what are the likely impacts of what is currently going on, and how might they interact with each other, and impact communities? The second section focuses on how local stakeholders can address these impacts – what steps they can take to plan for them and tackle them as the arise. Recognizing that local resources are unlikely to be sufficient,the third section looks at the need for continued, targeted federal action. The final section looks at a longer-term question, recognizing how many of the post-COVID-19 problems will simply magnify and exacerbate the long-standing crisis facing lower-income communities and communities of color in the United States – can we build a post-pandemic future for our neighborhoods that is better than the past, and that places equity at the center?
“We don’t know what will happen – there are far too many unknowns at this point – but we can already anticipate many of the risks, and what to expect after the pandemic is behind us.“ – Alan Mallach
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