Medical workers test a patient for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Policies to Protect People and Communities

September 17, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and people are forced to stay home, workers are losing their jobs, health care systems are being stressed, local businesses are at risk of closing permanently, and the country is bracing for recession. The crisis has laid bare the inequities and injustices that threaten people’s well-being, safety, and lives.

Amid these uncertain and challenging times, we are asking and answering: How can the nation respond in the short term to keep all people safe and the economy afloat? What policies could help all of us recover in a way that is inclusive and equitable? And how can families and communities become more resilient to global health, economic, climate, and other shocks, even as we seek to prevent them from happening again?

The Urban Institute was built for this moment. We answer tough questions with unbiased, rigorous research and evidence-based solutions. For 50 years, we have studied what it takes to strengthen social safety net programs, dismantle structural racism, protect workers and families, and build community resilience. Using advanced analytics, data science, technology, and decades of expertise, we equip changemakers with the facts and insights they need to accelerate solutions.

We will be updating this page regularly in an effort to provide clarity, insight, and evidence-based solutions as this global crisis evolves.

Child Care and Education

Equity and Inclusion

Fiscal and Economic Policy

Health and Health Policy

Housing Policy

Urban’s Renters and Rental Market Crisis Working Group convenes cross-sector leaders who share insights about evolving rental market dynamics and inform policy solutions to address the rental crisis.

Urban’s Mortgage Markets COVID-19 Collaborative convenes mortgage industry stakeholders, consumer advocates, and researchers to share data and policy ideas and develop collaborative solutions that will ensure sustainable homeownership, system stability, and equity in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Small Business and Community Development

States and Localities

Workers, Work Supports, and Basic Needs