When Americans call 2-1-1 with housing-related needs, 80-90% of all requests are for rent assistance, shelters, or low-cost housing. However, the trends for each in 2-1-1 requests since COVID-19 differ, and only low-income housing requests are still rising 12 weeks after the pandemic began. As the charts shows, All three types of housing needs rose dramatically when COVID-19 arrived and are still much higher than pre-COVID rates. Since then, though, rent assistance requests have declined gradually and requests for shelters have been relatively stable at their post-COVID plateau. But low-cost housing requests, which include inquiries about public housing and other housing and moving assistance, have continued to increase. It’s possible that some Americans are shifting their focus from seeking help paying rent in their current situation to finding lower-cost housing options. The bars in the charts below represent the number of requests each day, and the line represents a 7-day rolling average calculated using current and six prior days. Mouse over each bar in the charts below to see the number of requests for that day and the line to see average number of requests. Analyses include 2-1-1s in all or parts of 31 states that participate in a daily tracking system: AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WI and WY.
Contributors: Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Irum Javed, Matthew Kreuter