COVID-19 has helped us think more critically about the communities around us and what we are doing to support them. We are seeing gaps in the system and larger inequalities. A report from Prosperity Now is working to quantify and analyze how families are recovering from the pandemic. They saw the unprecedented impact on the financial lives of many people and families across our nation.
Throughout the months of June and July, Prosperity Now conducted a national survey in which they questioned low-income households to understand what strategies they are using to secure resources and navigate the pandemic. Their findings are below:
- Nearly 40% of lower-income households feel worse off financially as a result of the pandemic
- Almost half of the households surveyed were unable to fully cover at least one basic expense, such as housing, food or medical care, because of COVID-19
- About 84% of all lower-income households surveyed received the economic impact payment under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Lower-income households that self-identified as White were roughly eight percentage points more likely to receive a stimulus check than their Black or Latino counterparts
- Among lower-income households, those in the lowest income brackets (under $25,000) were slightly less likely to receive a stimulus check than those in higher income brackets
- The most common strategies lower-income households relied on to navigate the financial impact of COVID-19 included using the economic impact payment, resorting to savings, skipping bill payments (partially or in full) and filing taxes to obtain a refund
- Latino and Black households and those in the lowest income brackets are the most likely to turn to credit products that may increase their financial vulnerability, such as credit cards and payday loans.
The coronavirus is impacting us all, but specifically impacting more vulnerable households. As an organization, HOME, Inc. will continue to help low-income families to obtain and retain housing. We will get through this together!