The coronavirus is quickly spreading across America, raising concerns that aren’t only health related. While the full economic implications of the disease are still unknown, what we do know is that the people who will face the biggest financial impacts of COVID-19 are the same people who are already financially strapped.
This includes low-and moderate-income people and communities, people experiencing homelessness, the uninsured and those without paid sick leave. The federal government must act now to protect these people from further financial distress, and stave off a larger health and economic crisis.
“If we want to minimize the impacts of this global pandemic here at home, the federal government must move quickly and astutely,” said Jesse Van Tol, CEO of NCRC. “The Trump Administration and Congress are acting quickly to address serious concerns around health interventions, paid sick leave, loss of business revenues, housing outcomes and more. But political agendas are also slowing them down. We need leadership to ensure key healthcare and financial institutions remain stable and can do their jobs. But this is a crisis for individuals and families as well and we need policies to ensure their health and financial stability.”
NCRC supports a comprehensive approach for those impacted by the coronavirus, including the following immediate steps:
Health: The expansion of government-provided testing and treatment, including coverage of treatment costs not covered by insurance.
Housing: A moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, as well as emergency rental and mortgage assistance that could include utility payments. For those experiencing homelessness, provide supplemental financial assistance directly to housing authorities, housing assistance providers and homelessness service organizations. Free housing counseling services should be provided as well.
Small Businesses: Increased funding to the Small Business Administration and the establishment of direct grants for eligible small business recipients to help cover the cost of lost business, providing paid sick leave and more. Small business owners should also receive free counseling.
Banking: A moratorium on fines like overdraft fees, and free financial counseling services.