The Urban Institute released a report on June 15 focusing on How Much Assistance Is Needed to Support Renters through the COVID-19 Crisis?
There are two ways to look at the ways to get money to renters—through income assistance which would indirectly assist with rent payments (what we have now) or through rental assistance. The analysis looked at various different scenarios. They did not assume total employment loss, and they assumed 65 percent take up of unemployment insurance. Income assistance will always be a higher estimate than the direct rental assistance, because income assistance provides financial support beyond just rental payments.
Key scenarios include:
- Income Support - $21.3 billion per month will be needed to restore renter households to their previous rent-to-income ratio if the state unemployment benefits or CARES $600 didn’t exist. Seventy eight percent of this amount is currently covered by the state unemployment benefits and the extra $600 per week from CARES. Even with these added benefits, though, we still need $4.6 billion per month to get everyone to their previous rent-to-income ratio. If it were just unemployment benefits but no CARES $600, we would need $8.7 billion.
- Rental support (capped) - Leaving everyone affected by COVID at existing rent-to-income ratio (but capping at 30% rent-to-income ratio) – would require $5.5 billion per month without the state unemployment benefits or CARES $600; $3.6 billion per month if only state unemployment benefits were available but no CARES $600; $1.8 billion per month if state unemployment benefits and CARES $600 were still available.
- Rental support, alleviating rent burden for all rental households (so not just COVID-impacted households) - $15.5 billion per month would be needed without the state unemployment benefits or CARES $600; $14.0 billion per month with only the state unemployment benefits but no CARES $600; $11.9 billion per month with both state unemployment benefits and CARES $600.
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