If Congress offers no COVID-19 assistance to renters, a humanitarian crises of mass homelessness will not be the only calamity we face. As more renters scrimp to keep their homes, local businesses will lose even more sales and profits. Meanwhile, in just the last couple of months 20%-30% of renters were unable to pay rent and homelessness spreads the virus — and virus fears leave consumers reluctant to get into the economy. In addition, homelessness also makes job-seeking very difficult. On top of all this, the rental sector could collapse.
Homelessness is hard on families and hard on the economy. I urge the Utah delegation to make housing a priority in any upcoming aid package.