Avoiding a COVID-19 Disaster for Renters and the Housing Market: The Renter Direct Payment Program   [open pdf - 224KB]

From the Document: "As COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] has ravaged the US economy, the impact has not been uniform. Low-income hourly workers have been more likely to be laid off than their salaried counterparts. The virus has affected the entertainment, travel, retail, and manufacturing sectors more heavily than other sectors, such as finance and technology. A disproportionate number of people affected are renters. [...] The coronavirus does not discriminate. An eviction moratorium or rent deferment program that allows renters to temporarily stop paying rent only shifts the financial burden to property owners, many of whom will be unable to remain solvent if their collections drop significantly. And yet renters--who have even less savings to see them through a disruption in employment--need relief on their monthly payment as much as if not more than homeowners. We argue that there is a need for a national rental assistance program. None of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs provide that. We begin by looking at the consequences of not helping renters, the assistance that already has been provided indirectly through other relief measures, discuss what more is needed, and size the maximum amount of relief that may be necessary. The actual relief needed is likely to be less, as we would propose the program incorporate a maximum rent cutoff, require hardship as a condition (albeit with light documentation), and specify that hardship must take into account payments the borrower receives under other components of the CARES Act."

2020 Urban Institute. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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