Levin’s Center for Economic Development (CED), which has served as a designated Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center since 1985, has published two reports, Pandemic-Related Business Assistance, July 2021, and Pandemic-Related Housing Assistance, July 2021. Both reports are authored by Dr. Iryna V. Lendel, Research Associate Professor at Levin and Director of the CED, Molly Schnoke, Project Manager at Levin’s Center for Community Planning and Development, and Scott A. Corsi, PhD student at Levin.
The studies cover a period of time from March 2020 to June 2021, detailing and recapitulating economic relief packages provided by the federal government since the onset of the pandemic, including the CARES Act, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan, among other forms of assistance.
The Pandemic-Related Business Assistance report states the pandemic has caused an unprecedented increase in unemployment, the closing or suspension of operations for many businesses, a drastic reduction in the capacity to produce many goods and services, and a significant reduction of disposable household income. To assist with these economic emergencies, federal, state, and local governments have passed legislation to aid households and businesses, as well as programs to aid nonprofits. The report groups the actions of all levels of government support into four categories: general business support, small business support, industry-specific support, and unemployment benefits for individuals, and offers a summary of each program and a link to their full description.
The Pandemic-Related Housing Assistance report finds the pandemic has damaged not only health systems, but also social and economic systems. According to the abstract, one effect of COVID-19 has been mass housing instability, predominantly due to evictions. Many people have lost their jobs, in part or altogether, due to COVID-19, leaving residents with little income to pay their bills, including rent or mortgage and utilities, and forcing them to face consequences such as eviction or utility shutoffs. This brief reviews how federal, state, and local governments have responded to such housing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, and analyzes various legislation passed to mitigate housing instability.