COVID-19 and Renter Distress: Evidence from Los Angeles

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A joint UCLA-USC released Aug. 31 documents the hardships faced by Los Angeles County tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic and traces those hardships overwhelmingly to lost work and wages as a result of the economic shutdown.

The report by researchers at the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate analyzed data from the U.S. Census, as well as data from an original survey conducted in July 2020 of 1,000 Los Angeles County renter households. The original survey, in particular, let the researchers gain new insights into the circumstances facing LA renters.

The study was authored by UCLA Luskin associate professors Michael Manville, Paavo Monkkonen, and Michael Lens, and Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center.