Teresa Wiltz

Teresa Wiltz covers welfare, housing and social services for Stateline. Previously, she worked for the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune.

As COVID-19 Tanks the Economy, Eviction Moratoriums Expire

By: - August 6, 2020

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include new information about Hawaii’s eviction ban. Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. It’s the beginning of the month, rent is due, the $600 in federal unemployment relief has lapsed and Congress seems far from agreeing on another coronavirus aid package. Meanwhile, the federal […]

Searing Heat Will Make COVID-19 Racial Disparities Worse

By: - July 30, 2020

Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. Scientists say the nation is experiencing another public health emergency that will further exacerbate the coronavirus crisis: extreme heat. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting the next three months will be hotter than normal for much of the country; 2020, it says, likely […]

Financially Stretched Homeowners Might Skimp on Insurance. And Hurricane Season is Here.

By: - July 13, 2020

Editor’s Note: This article was updated July 13, 2020 to correct the spelling of the last name of Rep. Wendell Gilliard. Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. South Carolina state Rep. Wendell Gilliard says he’s “getting calls day in and day out” from financially strapped constituents in the hurricane-prone Lowcountry. Hurricane […]

Black Homeowners Pay More Than ‘Fair Share’ in Property Taxes

By: - June 25, 2020

A national reckoning with racism, combined with the economic damage wrought by the pandemic, is prompting some state and local officials to take a closer look at an issue that has long bedeviled Black homeowners: inflated property tax assessments. For decades, white tax assessors placed a heavier tax burden on Black residents by intentionally overvaluing […]

COVID-19 Forces Tough Decisions in Housing Assistance

By: - June 9, 2020

Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. After distributing hundreds of millions of dollars in the past three months, states and cities don’t have much money left to help struggling renters, leaving officials with an uncomfortable question: Who gets prioritized for help?  COVID-19 is forcing local governments to make tough decisions about […]

Despite Federal Guidance, Some States Bar In-Person Foster Care Visits

By: - May 12, 2020

Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. Citing virus fears, some states have barred biological parents from visiting their children in foster care. This despite federal recommendations that child welfare agencies “refrain from issuing blanket court orders reducing or suspending family time.” Last week, Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli announced on […]

Against CDC Guidance, Some Cities Sweep Homeless Encampments

By: - April 28, 2020

Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. Last month, in Austin, Texas, just as the pandemic was starting to wreak havoc, city officials came to clear the encampment where Britton Ellis was living with her friend and a dozen or so other homeless people. City workers, accompanied by the police, tore everything […]

Coronavirus Eviction Rules Don’t Always Help People in Motels

By: - April 15, 2020

Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. For the past few months, Stefanie Craft, her five kids and two pets, a cat and a dog, have been camped out in the Economy Inn and Suites in North Charleston, South Carolina. It wasn’t her first choice: Black mold crawling up the walls of […]

Some Shelters Shutter to Protect Homeless, Staff

By: - April 6, 2020

For years, the Harbor House shelter had a routine for feeding and sheltering the hundreds of homeless people in Thousand Oaks, California, many of them elderly. Each evening, one of a dozen local churches, temples and mosques would host a dinner, and afterward, lay out beds for their guests to have a safe place to […]

Female Renters Take on Predatory Landlords

By: - March 12, 2020

Douglas Waterbury owned or managed dozens of rental properties in and around Oswego, New York, and for decades he allegedly used that power to demand sexual favors from financially strapped tenants and applicants who were desperate for a place to live. Waterbury threatened women with eviction if they refused to engage in sexual acts with […]

Supreme Court to Hear Same-Sex Foster Care Case

By: - February 25, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case involving same-sex couples and foster care, a move that could have far-reaching implications for states. State attorneys general in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia asked the court to take the case. In a friend of the court […]

Foster Care Adoptions Reach Record High

By: - January 7, 2020

A record number of children in foster care are being adopted, partially a reflection of the continuing toll of the opioid crisis but also of efforts in many states to promote adoptions. In fiscal 2018, the latest year for which data is available, more than 63,000 kids were adopted from foster care, up nearly a […]