Rent is particularly pivotal for workers who do not consider themselves migrants for all the domestic workers we interviewed, returning to their villages was not an option.
As state governments have begun implementing weekend curfews and lockdown-like conditions amid the second wave of COVID, there is another issue that is emerging-rent crises with in informal markets. Meanwhile, reports of loss of livelihoods, in an eerie echo of 2020, have begun. In a crisis, the issue of rent does not get as much attention as food and income support do. Rent formed 40% of their average expenses in the first five weeks of the lockdown in 2020, was a majority component of debt post the lockdowns, and was a key component of the vulnerability of urban workers. This is not just true of domestic workers. Reports by the stranded workers action Network showed that fear of rent payments was one of the main reasons cited by migrants in their decision to leave cities and walk along highways.