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COVID-19

As some tenants struggle to pay rent, landlords try to manage mortgage payments

Sonia Paul May 29, 2020
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A sign in an apartment window calling for a rent freeze in early May. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19

As some tenants struggle to pay rent, landlords try to manage mortgage payments

Sonia Paul May 29, 2020
Heard on:
A sign in an apartment window calling for a rent freeze in early May. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Some tenants are struggling to pay their rent as they lose income because of COVID-19. That spells trouble for some small landlords and property owners who rely on rent to pay their mortgage and other expenses.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has halted evictions until 90 days after he declares an end to the current emergency, and has said that many banks have agreed to provide mortgage relief for those who can show financial hardship related to COVID-19. But some homeowners see forbearance as only a temporary solution.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

So what’s up with “Zoom fatigue”?

It’s a real thing. The science backs it up — there’s new research from Stanford University. So why is it that the technology can be so draining? Jeremy Bailenson with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab puts it this way: “It’s like being in an elevator where everyone in the elevator stopped and looked right at us for the entire elevator ride at close-up.” Bailenson said turning off self-view and shrinking down the video window can make interactions feel more natural and less emotionally taxing.

How are Americans spending their money these days?

Economists are predicting that pent-up demand for certain goods and services is going to burst out all over as more people get vaccinated. A lot of people had to drastically change their spending in the pandemic because they lost jobs or had their hours cut. But at the same time, most consumers “are still feeling secure or optimistic about their finances,” according to Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, which regularly surveys shoppers. A lot of people enjoy browsing in stores, especially after months of forced online shopping. And another area expecting a post-pandemic boost: travel.

What happened to all of the hazard pay essential workers were getting at the beginning of the pandemic?

Almost a year ago, when the pandemic began, essential workers were hailed as heroes. Back then, many companies gave hazard pay, an extra $2 or so per hour, for coming in to work. That quietly went away for most of them last summer. Without federal action, it’s mostly been up to local governments to create programs and mandates. They’ve helped compensate front-line workers, but they haven’t been perfect. “The solutions are small. They’re piecemeal,” said Molly Kinder at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “You’re seeing these innovative pop-ups because we have failed overall to do something systematically.”

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