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Data Show the Need for Emergency Rental Assistance During the COVID-19 and Economic Crisis

NLIHC data analysis estimates up to $100 billion needed in emergency rental assistance to ensure the housing stability of cost-burdened extremely and very low-income renters over the next twelve months.

Washington, D.C. - The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released today a data-analysis that shows the U.S. needs an investment of between $76 billion to $100 billion to keep the lowest-income households stably housed over the next year during and in the immediate wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Housing is health care and essential for resilience when disasters like COVID-19 strike. Those experiencing homelessness in America are at extreme risk during the pandemic. Many are seniors, have disabilities and/or underlying medical conditions, live in crowded shelters or unsanitary conditions, and lack the ability to quarantine, isolate, and recover. The lowest-income, severely housing cost-burdened renters – many of whom also are seniors and/or people with disabilities/health conditions and people in the low-wage workforce - are at high risk of COVID-19 complications as well as the threat of eviction and homelessness due to loss of income. The spread of COVID-19 among these populations threatens their health and safety - and that of us all. 

The resources and provisions in the recently passed CARES Act were an important first step in addressing some of the urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness and those on the brink of being homeless. But much more is needed, including emergency rental assistance for the lowest-income renters who are one missed rent payment from eviction and homelessness.  

“Emergency rental assistance is needed now to ensure low-income renters can remain stably housed during the worst of COVID-19 outbreak and throughout the devastating recession it is bringing about,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Providing temporary rental assistance to current and projected cost-burdened renters would keep at-risk tenants stably housed and protect and preserve our country’s limited naturally-occurring affordable housing.”


About NLIHC: Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that ensure people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.