Cash flows around the world have dropped dramatically as more governments require non-essential businesses to close and individuals to stay at home in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In a fairly short time, such actions have led to massive layoffs and job losses. In the United States, for example, the country has swung from historically low unemployment levels to historically high numbers of claims for unemployment benefits; similar effects can be observed in other countries. As a consequence, individuals are experiencing, and are expected to continue to experience for some time, difficulty in paying their housing costs. Whether mortgage or rent, housing is usually the largest fixed cost for households and many governments have responded by announcing various packages to provide relief. This post begins by examining the fundamental challenge presented by the need to provide residential expense relief on a grand scale. It then details multiple programmatic interventions utilized in crises past and present. Finally, this post provides some key takeaways to consider when implementing residential expense relief policies.
Continue reading “Residential Mortgage and Rent Relief During Crises”