The recommendations of Housing GSO were developed prior to the onset of COVID-19. The ongoing pandemic and economic contraction will exacerbate Greensboro’s existing affordability challenges. Loss of employment is the leading cause of housing insecurity and as unemployment rates rise the risk of large-scale evictions and foreclosures increase with it. The state of North Carolina has seen a massive rise in unemployment insurance claims as a result of businesses shutting down — over 940,000 North Carolinians filed individual unemployment claims between March 15 – May 24, 2020. At projected peak unemployment in Greensboro later this year, between 17,000 – 20,000 households could have at least one unemployed worker. By the end of the year, unemployment is projected to decrease slightly, to 14,000-17,000 households. The high rate of unemployment is a warning sign of a coming wave of evictions and foreclosures. As people lose their income and unemployment benefits expire, individuals will struggle to cover housing costs. There is much uncertainty around the timeline and ongoing impacts of the virus, but in the near term, the City should focus its efforts and resources on providing emergency rental assistance and supporting vulnerable and homeless populations.
North Carolina Insured Unemployment Rate
City of Greensboro Projected Unemployment (Households)