Source: Joint Center of Housing Studies of Harvard

By: Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, Chris Herbert, Alexander Hermann, Sophia Wedeen

As has been well documented, the financial impact of the pandemic has disproportionally impacted renters, leading to high shares of those who have fallen behind on rent. Less well-recognized are the pandemic household spending strategies that included a range of financial resources to make rent even in the face of income lost due to the pandemic. To fill this gap in what is known about the financial impacts of the pandemic, this paper analyzes data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey to identify the financial resources utilized by renters to meet their expenses after losing income. The results indicate that renters relied on numerous and varied financial resources, in many possible combinations, in response to a financial shock.