Utah rent needs rise with COVID, expiring protections

Rent assistance requests rose 202% from 2019 to 2020 along Utah’s Wasatch Front. Rent needs spiked four times in 2020, all associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and relief efforts. We analyzed 14,576 requests to 211 for rent assistance received from Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties in Utah during 2019 (3,628 calls, top chart) and 2020 (10,948 calls, bottom chart). Collectively, these five counties account for nearly 80% of the state population. In mid-March 2020, the first spike coincides with COVID-19 being declared a pandemic. A second spike, in mid-May, occurred just before an eviction moratorium was set to expire. The third spike corresponds with the expiration in late August of CARES act funding helping unemployed Utahns, while the fourth occurs during a boom of COVID-19 cases in Utah that coincided with a period of financial strain during the winter holidays. Data for these analyses come from 211 Counts, a daily tracking system of community needs used in Utah and 37 other states. Mouse over each bar to see the number of rent assistance requests received by 211 on each date.

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