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March 31, 2021

The Effects of Expanded Unemployment Benefits and Stimulus on Unemployed Renters' Income During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic created the most severe and abrupt economic downturn in recent history. The resulting economic disruption has left millions unemployed and reliant on unemployment benefits. Three separate rounds of federal legislation have provided additional aid for those out of work, helping many households to stay afloat. In this report we examine how the combined state- and federal-level benefits all come together for unemployed workers and renters. Specific areas of focus include:

  • How the three rounds of stimulus legislation have impacted unemployment benefits and assisted renters
  • How state-level unemployment benefits, additional federal benefits and stimulus combine
  • A state-by-state comparison of the changes to income for an unemployed median-income renter
  • A state-level breakdown of how unemployment would affect rent-burdened workers

Nevada as a Case Study

We look at a hypothetical case study of an unemployed worker in Nevada – where state unemployment benefits closely mirror the average across the country. Our analysis looks at how state and federal unemployment benefits, combined with the federal stimulus payments, compare with the worker's pre-pandemic income.

We also examine how those up and down the income scale would fare in comparison with their pre-pandemic earnings. Depending on workers' salaries, there are big differences between the percentage to which stimulus and unemployment funds have replaced lost income.

A Closer Look at Incomes

We prepared a state-level analysis that shows the relationship between stimulus, unemployment income and each state's median renter income since the beginning of the pandemic. We also examine how rent burdened a median- income renter could be in each state while receiving benefits.

Weathering Well

The data and analysis remain positive. Nationally the apartment market has weathered the economic downturn well. The continued economic support from both state and federal agencies is helping to stabilize the overall housing market and the multifamily rental market.

Download the full report to learn more about our findings.

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