Many Americans struggle to maintain a safe and healthy place to live. People who are housing insecure or experience homelessness typically have poorer physical and mental health outcomes and are at greater risk for infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to other challenges. 

In response, solutions such as providing short-term housing arrangements for newly released low-level criminal justice offenders to rental assistance and freezes on evictions have been put in place to reduce the risk of exposure among vulnerable populations during the pandemic. However, these short-term solutions won't be enough. Also required are sustainable long-term programs that equitably improve opportunities for individuals to live in safe and affordable housing. 

This Web Forum will highlight the disproportionate and long-existing economic and health disparities among people who are housing insecure or experience homelessness. The Web Forum will also highlight what is currently being done to protect this population during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identify the long-term policy, system, and environmental changes that are needed to advance health equity by effectively addressing housing insecurity and homelessness.


Diane Yentel, MSW

President and CEO

National Low Income Housing Coalition

Washington, DC

Diane is the President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a membership organization dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. Diane is a policy expert and advocate with nearly two…

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Sue Pechilio Polis

Director, Health and Wellness

National League of Cities

Washington, DC

Sue Pechilio Polis is responsible for directing the health and wellness portfolio for the National League of Cities (NLC) as part of the Institute for Youth, Education and Families. The portfolio includes the conceptualization, development and implementation of Cities of Opportunity, a multi-year effort to engage mayors and city leaders…

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Gregory Miao, JD, MS

Senior Attorney

ChangeLab Solutions

Oakland, CA

As a senior attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, Gregory works on legal issues related to sugar reduction policies, alcohol control, preemption, active living, healthy housing, and water quality. He is a member of the board of directors of America Walks.

Prior to joining ChangeLab Solutions, he worked on developing regional cooperative…

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Bobby Watts, MPH, MS, CPH


National Health Care for the Homeless Council


G. Robert (“Bobby”) Watts is the chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and oversees all aspects of the Council’s activity in advocacy, training, technical assistance, research, peer support, organizing, and fund development.

A nationally recognized advocate and leader in meeting the health needs of…

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Adam Lustig, MS

Manager, Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (PHACCS)

Trust for America's Health (TFAH)

Washington, DC

Adam Lustig is the Manager, Promoting Health and Cost Control in States (PHACCS) at TFAH. The PHACCS Initiative seeks to promote the adoption and implementation of effective, evidence-based state public health policies in a relatively short time period of five years. Prior to joining TFAH, he was the Senior Manager…

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