Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

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Renters’ Responses to Financial Stress During the Pandemic

The COVID pandemic has had a particularly large impact on the financial well-being of renters in the US, and over the past year millions have struggled to pay rent. While several national and local surveys have provided useful information and insights into the experiences of financially struggling renters, studies using these surveys differ in scope, scale, and timing.

Improving America's Housing 2021

While the US economy shrank by 3.5 percent in 2020, spending on home improvements and repairs grew more than 3 percent, to nearly $420 billion, as people modified living spaces for work, school, and leisure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while many professional remodeling projects came to a halt, DIY renovations surged. The sudden flexibility of remote work also increased demand for larger homes in lower-cost areas of the country.


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