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County Economic Mobility Action Tracker

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    County Options for Protecting Households Through COVID-19

    Resource Overview

    Counties are on the front lines of protecting communities in the U.S. from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the health consequences, stay-at-home orders and business closures have deepened the economic harms of COVID-19, county leaders across the nation are taking important and innovative steps to protect citizens from the worst economic consequences of the current crisis.

    This resource, compiled by the National Association of Counties and the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, is designed to provide county leaders with options for safeguarding residents’ financial security and economic mobility during COVID-19. It provides possible actions by counties, a summary of that option, and examples of other counties executing the program or proposals for the policy.

    Resident Guidance on COVID 19 Relief Programs

    Provide CARES Act Guidance

    Online resources or application support can help residents better understand, apply for and access resources provided by the federal government through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and other information.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Montgomery County Md. COVID Information Webpage
    • Hennepin County, Minn. Worker and Small Business Resource Guide
    • Lee County, Fla. Business and Resident Resources
    • National Consumer Law Center CARES Act Mortgage Provisions Guidance

    Click Here for More Information on CARES Act Funding

    Provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) Guidance

    Local leaders have developed and shared guidance that can assist workers as they file for UI benefits, particularly independent, gig, and self-employed workers newly eligible for UI.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Lee County, Fla. Resident Guidance with UI Application Resources
    • New York State Gig Worker UI Guidance

    Worker Wage Supplements and Other Support

    Supplement Frontline Worker Wages

    County leaders are providing additional wage support to workers particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of COVID-19.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Henry County, Ga. Front Line Employee Hazard Pay

    Provide Emergency Relief Funds for Vulnerable Workers

    County leaders can provide grants or other financial assistance for workers vulnerable to the financial impacts of COVID-19 and who may not be eligible for federal aid.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Santa Clara, Calif. Financial Assistance Program for Low-Income Residents
    • San Francisco, Calif. Arts and Artists Relief Fund

    Expand Access to Paid Leave for COVID-19 Impacts

    Guaranteeing workers job protection and financial compensation in the event they experience COVID-19 impacts can protect the financial security of workers. County leaders are working to supplement federal action on paid leave.

    • Los Angeles County, Calif. Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance
    • Bernalillo County, N.M. Paid Leave Ordinance

    Housing

    Provide Cash Supports to Residents for Rental Payments

    County leaders are working to provide rental assistance programs that can alleviate pressure on renters who have experienced interruptions in their employment and income.

    Examples and Guidance:

    • Los Angeles County, Calif. COVID-19 Rent Relief Programs
    • Volusia County, Fla. COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

    Institute or Extend Eviction Moratoria

    Eviction moratoria protect the housing security of those facing interruptions in their income that render them unable to make their rent payments. Counties across the nation are working to mitigate the housing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through eviction moratoria.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Santa Clara County, Calif. Eviction Moratorium
    • Multnomah County, Ore. COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium
    • Mecklenburg County, N.C. Eviction Enforcement Suspension

    Click Here for More Examples of County Housing Action

    Household Expenses and Services

    Institute or Extend a Utility Bill Moratorium

    Payment assistance in the form of a moratorium on utility bill collection can support those who have faced interruptions in their employment and/or income. A suspension of service disconnections and late payment fees could help residents both afford essential utility services and maintain utilities vital to public health.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Montgomery County, Md. Call for Public Utility Default Moratorium
    • State Action Tracker on Utility Responses to COVID-19

    Protect Garnishment of Wages, Rebate Checks or Other Income

    Local governments can call on financial institutions to institute a moratorium on consumer defaults to protect the financial security of those most vulnerable.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Montgomery County, Md. Call for Financial Institution Default Moratorium

    Household Debt, Fines and Fees

    Discharge Existing Fines, Fees, and Court Debt

    In light of this ongoing national emergency, state and local governments and courts can make immediate changes to their criminal, traffic and municipal ordinance fines and fees policies to (1) increase public safety and health, (2) ensure that fines and fees are not a barrier to people’s basic needs throughout this emergency and (3) promote the resiliency of communities.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Maricopa County, Ariz. Deferrals for Court Fees
    • Lake County, Calif. Traffic Fine Payment Extension
    • Hillsborough County, Fla. Court Financial Due Data Extension
    • Fines and Fees Justice Center Policy Recommendations

    Prevent Garnishment of Wages, Other Income, or Federal Assistance

    Ensuring that income is protected from garnishment will reduce the financial burdens of those experiencing interruptions in their income that make it difficult to keep debt payments current.

    Examples and Guidance:

    • National Consumer Law Center Recommendations to Protect Stimulus Checks
    • Fulton County, Ga. Temporary Suspension of Garnishment, Other Services
    • Jackson County, Mo. Temporary Suspension of Garnishment

    Monitor and Regulate High Interest Lending

    During financial crises, low- and moderate- income households will be more likely to use high interest credit products to make ends meet. Monitoring and creating local ordinances regarding such lending can reduce the cost for families.

    Examples and Guidance

    • National Consumer Law Center Resource Center

    Enact or Extend Towing of Car Repossession Moratorium

    Vehicles are essential for residents to access jobs and transport themselves in a safe manner during the current pandemic. Towing or car repossession moratoria, event temporary, could ameliorate the negative effects of increased debt burdens.

    Examples and Guidance

    • State of Maryland Repossession Moratorium
    • Sacramento City Council Letter Requesting Towing Moratorium

    Employer Supports

    Expand Emergency Relief Programs to Small Businesses and Other Employers

    Counties can help small businesses and nonprofit organizations remain in business through the COVID-19 emergency and address gaps that may exist among complementary programs.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Fairfax County, Va. Small Business and Nonprofit Grant Fund
    • Essex County, Mass. COVID-19 Response Fund for Nonprofits
    • Umatilla County Ore. Small Business Emergency Grant Fund
    • Onondaga County, N.Y. Small Business Bridge Loans
    • Hamilton County, Ind. Small Business Stabilization Fund

    Click Here for More Examples of County Small Business Support Action

    Institute or Extend Suspensions of Commercial Evictions and Rent Increases

    Suspension of commercial evictions and rent increases can provide employers with temporary relief, helping them afford to stay in business.

    Examples and Guidance

    • Contra Costa County, Calif. Eviction Moratorium and Rent Increase Suspension
    • Santa Clara County, Calif. Eviction Moratorium

    Live Action Tracker

    NACo is collecting examples of how member counties are using their resources and tools to help better equip residents to weather the financial impacts of COVID-19 and provide them economic opportunity in recovery as a resource for counties across the county. An updated list of the latest county solutions can be found below. Please share with us any of your county’s solutions here and they will be posted below after review by NACo staff.

    This resource is designed to provide county leaders with options for safeguarding residents’ financial security and economic mobility during COVID-19. It provides possible actions by counties, a summary of that option, and examples of other counties executing the program or proposals for the policy.
    2020-07-01
    Reports & Toolkits
    2020-11-20

County Options for Protecting Households Through COVID-19

Resource Overview

Counties are on the front lines of protecting communities in the U.S. from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the health consequences, stay-at-home orders and business closures have deepened the economic harms of COVID-19, county leaders across the nation are taking important and innovative steps to protect citizens from the worst economic consequences of the current crisis.

This resource, compiled by the National Association of Counties and the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, is designed to provide county leaders with options for safeguarding residents’ financial security and economic mobility during COVID-19. It provides possible actions by counties, a summary of that option, and examples of other counties executing the program or proposals for the policy.

Resident Guidance on COVID 19 Relief Programs

Provide CARES Act Guidance

Online resources or application support can help residents better understand, apply for and access resources provided by the federal government through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and other information.

Examples and Guidance

Click Here for More Information on CARES Act Funding

Provide Unemployment Insurance (UI) Guidance

Local leaders have developed and shared guidance that can assist workers as they file for UI benefits, particularly independent, gig, and self-employed workers newly eligible for UI.

Examples and Guidance

Worker Wage Supplements and Other Support

Supplement Frontline Worker Wages

County leaders are providing additional wage support to workers particularly vulnerable to the health impacts of COVID-19.

Examples and Guidance

Provide Emergency Relief Funds for Vulnerable Workers

County leaders can provide grants or other financial assistance for workers vulnerable to the financial impacts of COVID-19 and who may not be eligible for federal aid.

Examples and Guidance

Expand Access to Paid Leave for COVID-19 Impacts

Guaranteeing workers job protection and financial compensation in the event they experience COVID-19 impacts can protect the financial security of workers. County leaders are working to supplement federal action on paid leave.

Housing

Provide Cash Supports to Residents for Rental Payments

County leaders are working to provide rental assistance programs that can alleviate pressure on renters who have experienced interruptions in their employment and income.

Examples and Guidance:

Institute or Extend Eviction Moratoria

Eviction moratoria protect the housing security of those facing interruptions in their income that render them unable to make their rent payments. Counties across the nation are working to mitigate the housing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through eviction moratoria.

Examples and Guidance

Click Here for More Examples of County Housing Action

Household Expenses and Services

Institute or Extend a Utility Bill Moratorium

Payment assistance in the form of a moratorium on utility bill collection can support those who have faced interruptions in their employment and/or income. A suspension of service disconnections and late payment fees could help residents both afford essential utility services and maintain utilities vital to public health.

Examples and Guidance

Protect Garnishment of Wages, Rebate Checks or Other Income

Local governments can call on financial institutions to institute a moratorium on consumer defaults to protect the financial security of those most vulnerable.

Examples and Guidance

Household Debt, Fines and Fees

Discharge Existing Fines, Fees, and Court Debt

In light of this ongoing national emergency, state and local governments and courts can make immediate changes to their criminal, traffic and municipal ordinance fines and fees policies to (1) increase public safety and health, (2) ensure that fines and fees are not a barrier to people’s basic needs throughout this emergency and (3) promote the resiliency of communities.

Examples and Guidance

Prevent Garnishment of Wages, Other Income, or Federal Assistance

Ensuring that income is protected from garnishment will reduce the financial burdens of those experiencing interruptions in their income that make it difficult to keep debt payments current.

Examples and Guidance:

Monitor and Regulate High Interest Lending

During financial crises, low- and moderate- income households will be more likely to use high interest credit products to make ends meet. Monitoring and creating local ordinances regarding such lending can reduce the cost for families.

Examples and Guidance

Enact or Extend Towing of Car Repossession Moratorium

Vehicles are essential for residents to access jobs and transport themselves in a safe manner during the current pandemic. Towing or car repossession moratoria, event temporary, could ameliorate the negative effects of increased debt burdens.

Examples and Guidance

Employer Supports

Expand Emergency Relief Programs to Small Businesses and Other Employers

Counties can help small businesses and nonprofit organizations remain in business through the COVID-19 emergency and address gaps that may exist among complementary programs.

Examples and Guidance

Click Here for More Examples of County Small Business Support Action

Institute or Extend Suspensions of Commercial Evictions and Rent Increases

Suspension of commercial evictions and rent increases can provide employers with temporary relief, helping them afford to stay in business.

Examples and Guidance

Live Action Tracker

NACo is collecting examples of how member counties are using their resources and tools to help better equip residents to weather the financial impacts of COVID-19 and provide them economic opportunity in recovery as a resource for counties across the county. An updated list of the latest county solutions can be found below. Please share with us any of your county’s solutions here and they will be posted below after review by NACo staff.

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About Alejandra Montoya-Boyer (Full Bio)

Associate Program Director – Resilient Economies and Communities

Alejandra is the Associate Program Director for Resilient Economies and Communities. In her role, Alejandra will be responsible for the execution of a new grant on county leadership in advancing economic opportunity.

Contact

  • Program Manager – Resilient Economies and Communities  
     
  • Senior Policy Manager, Financial Security Program at The Aspen Institute  
     

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