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Report: $15.5 Billion Per Month Needed for Housing Market Relief

A new report from researchers at the Urban Institute makes the case for federal and state relief for renters and property owners hurt by the economic realities of the coronavirus pandemic.
June 17, 2020, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Emergency Housing
Jungho Kim

Aaron Shroyer and Kathryn Reynolds lay out the daunting task of dealing with the housing stress of the economic downturn related to the coronavirus. First, the context of the looming payment crisis, as eviction and mortgage payment moratoriums expire in the coming weeks.

State and federal unemployment assistance, along with eviction moratoria, have helped most renters pay rent and remain stably housed during the crisis. But renter households face a severe cliff at the end of July, when supplemental unemployment assistance from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expires. 

The alarm bells sounded by Shroyer and Reynolds should have a familiar ring. Planetizen has been documenting the looming crisis in the housing market since the pandemic started to shut down cities and states around the country, in April, May, and again in June

At this point in the crisis, Shoyer and Reynolds offer a prescription to help the nation's renters and landlords avoid the worst possible outcomes from the crisis.

In a new brief, we estimate that when state and federal unemployment assistance expires, $15.5 billion per month would be needed to alleviate cost burden for renters who were cost-burdened before the pandemic and for renters who lost their jobs as a result of it.

The article details the housing market and unemployment data that inform that prescription, painting a dire portrait of a housing market teetering above a cliff.

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