JCHS: Cash-Strapped During COVID-19

Thursday, June 11, 2020 |Riordan Frost
The COVID-19 pandemic began at a time when many Americans were already struggling to make ends meet, with an affordability crisis leaving many burdened by the rising costs of housing. For many households, the pandemic has meant a sudden loss in income, which may force them to draw down their savings to pay for large, essential expenses like housing. Unfortunately, many Americans do not have sufficient savings to weather this storm. Over 15 percent of homeowner households and nearly half of renter households had less than $1,000 in cash savings in 2016, which is roughly the national median housing cost, according to data from the Federal Reserve and the Census Bureau. Low-income renters, who are disproportionately black or Hispanic, are living on a particularly thin margin and are especially vulnerable to financial distress and housing insecurity during and after this pandemic.
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