ISSUE 98 | March 5, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
COVID-19 vaccinations complete at all PA nursing homes
Governor Tom Wolf recently announced that all residents and employees of Pennsylvania nursing homes who wanted COVID-19 vaccines have received them.

According to the Governor’s Office, more than 600 skilled nursing facilities have received more than 315,000 vaccines for vulnerable residents and frontline health workers, with help from CVS and Walgreens.

CVS also expects to administer vaccines for 1,800 other long-term care facilities by mid-March.   

Advocates and officials brace for increase in foreclosures
State officials and housing advocates in Pennsylvania expect an increase in foreclosures in the near future due to pandemic-related unemployment – especially after the foreclosure moratorium ends in July.

The Pennsylvania Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has successfully prevented foreclosures in the past, but officials worry that the program will not have sufficient funding to meet the new demand for assistance.

Coronavirus grants for small businesses aim for inclusivity, but can’t track success
Pennsylvania will soon open applications for $145 million in state grants to small hospitality businesses.

The new Hospitality Industry Recovery Program will be partly administered by Community Development Financial Institutions, in an effort to ensure more equitable distribution of grants to low-income and minority business owners.

It will be difficult to evaluate the success of this effort, however, because the program is not able to collect data on applicant race or ethnicity. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Cities can help small businesses hire and train locally
The economic effects of the pandemic have prompted city leaders to rethink how they support businesses in training and hiring local workers.

Some have taken steps such as offering free digital skills training to small businesses, incentivizing the recruitment of people from marginalized communities, reimbursing employers who offer higher paying jobs, and offering public service positions to newly laid-off workers. 

Guaranteed income programs could give low-wage women crucial lifelines
In the last year, mayors of cities across the United States have expressed interest in adopting guaranteed income pilot programs, offering unconditional direct payments to low-income households.

These programs could be particularly helpful to women of color and unmarried women with children, who comprise a disproportionately large share of the population living below the poverty line. 

Community model proposed to address education inequality 
A new report by the Brookings Institution recommends addressing education inequality – which has been worsened by the pandemic – by transforming of American schools into “community schools.”

The proposed community school model involves partnering with families and service providers to integrate the health, education, and social services children and families need.  

Research Spotlight: The Institute recently explored pandemic-related inequities and housing inequities in Northeast Pennsylvania. This research identified disparities in impacts across age, gender, racial, and other demographic groups.

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