When: Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT
What: The COVID-19 recession pushed millions of U.S. households unexpectedly to the precipice of poverty at rates not encountered since the Great Depression. As millions of abruptly displaced workers found their families threatened with the loss of stable housing and at imminent risk of financial ruin, they were fortunate to have augmented safety net programs—like expanded unemployment insurance (UI) and new housing policies—to prevent them from falling into economic despair. Those new programs helped to deliver relief, income support, and fiscal stimulus. Yet, even as Congress continued to authorize new and unprecedented aid, the pandemic highlighted the limitations of both longstanding and more recent safety net programs. Reforming UI and housing support to make those policies more effective and more robust will require bold changes.
On Tuesday, April 13, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution will host a webcast examining policy options to improve UI and housing support in the U.S. The webcast will feature framing remarks by Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.
The webcast will also include two roundtable discussions with: Ben Casselman (The New York Times), Rebecca Dixon (National Employment Law Project), Arindrajit Dube (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Wendy Edelberg (The Hamilton Project), Ingrid Gould Ellen (New York University), Carol Galante (University of California, Berkeley), Maurice Jones (OneTen), Angela Hanks (U.S. Department of Labor), Erika Poethig (Domestic Policy Council/Executive Office of the President), and Till von Wachter (University of California, Los Angeles).
The webcast event will coincide with the release of two new Hamilton Project papers that will examine policy options to reform UI (notably by moving to a fully federally administered program, expanding eligibility, revamping short-term compensation, and improving automatic triggers for benefit generosity and duration) and housing policy (specifically through initiatives to support renters and homeowners with mortgages during economic downturns).