A new analysis by the Center on Budget Policy and Priority indicates that 23 percent of renters who have lost income or work due to COVID-19 are now behind in their rent. That is more than double overall rates and suggests big trouble as aid (including unemployment extensions) runs out at the end of this month.
The Center report indicates that “Renters who have lost employment income, likely due to job loss or reduced hours, are worried about keeping a roof over their head through winter. An estimated 15.5 million adult renters — 38 percent of renters — who lost employment income report no or slight confidence that they can pay next month’s rent. That’s considerably higher than the 14 percent of renters who have not lost employment income. Among renters who lost employment income and are not caught up on rent, 51 percent say they are very or somewhat likely to be evicted in the next two months.”
There is a CDC imposed ban on evictions due to the belief that the more transient people become, the more likely the spread of the virus. New research suggests that there was an increased spread of the COVID-19 virus in those states that let eviction protections expire.
Not a surprising outcome if families and individuals are forced to crowd into alternate living arrangements. The CDC ban expires at the end of December. The additional concern is that while the CDC ban has helped million by stopping evictions, the ban DOES NOT mean those renters don’t have to pay back rent, it is merely a delay. Unless Congress acts, millions could be evicted, have large rental bills to pay, and millions of landlords will be out of income—another significant drag on the economy for 2021.
The Center analysis also notes that after the CARES Act moratorium expired in July, there was a steady increase in eviction filings in August, and then a significant drop after the CDC reinstated the moratorium in September. Another rise in evictions would overwhelmingly affect and displace communities of color, which have historically been disproportionately affected by evictions.