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Long Island News

New Data Suggest Renters Among Most At-Risk For Unemployment

housingrentcorona_apjohnminchillo_200507.jpg
John Minchillo
/
AP

Recovery from the pandemic in New York means helping the many thousands of people who have lost their jobs, including low-income renters.

Russell Weaver is an economic geographer, someone who looks at patterns spatially and regionally and tries to get a sense of how economic change unfolds in different places.

He’s with Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. 

When it comes to the pandemic, Weaver is studying the patterns of how the virus impacts certain communities more than others and how those patterns correlate with other inequities like median income, poverty, race and ethnicity. 

“And we’re trying to elucidate some of those issues because, you know, one thing that a crisis is good for is that it opens policy windows.”

For something like rent relief. Weaver intends to research cities across the state suggesting low-income renters will be most affected with job losses caused by COVID-19.

“For the households that have employed members who are in these at-risk positions — these positions at risk of being laid off — renters are disproportionately included among them and low-income renters in particular are more likely to have all of their income earned in at-risk occupation.“

Weaver says the data makes the case for policy that supports those vulnerable people.

A bill in the New York State Senate aims to suspend rent and mortgage payments in response to COVID-19. That’s still in committee. 

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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