NCSHA: Renters Will Owe Up to $34B in Back Rent by January
U.S. renters will owe up to $34 billion in past-due rent by January, increasing eviction filings and imposing punishing financial hardship on millions in just a few months, according to a recent report by the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA). The report estimates roughly 10–14 million renter households were behind on their rent by a total of roughly $12–$17 billion as of Sept. 14.
These renters will owe $25–$34 billion by January, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide eviction moratorium expires. This rent shortfall estimate doesn’t include any interest or fees landlords may charge, as allowed by the CDC eviction moratorium.
By January 2021, more than 8 million renter households could experience an eviction filing, according to the report, which assumes that owners will file an eviction notice if a tenant is three months or more behind in rent payments.
According to NCSHA’s analysis of data from the National Apartment Association, America’s accrued apartment rent burden could result in up to:
- $6.8–$9.2 billion in reduced apartment payroll expenses, which includes the salaries of property managers, maintenance staff, contractors, and others
- $3.5–$4.8 billion in cuts to local property tax revenue to fund teachers, police, firefighters, and other critical personnel
- $2.5–$3.4 billion in deferred maintenance and delayed repairs necessary to maintain health and safety for renters.
NCSHA says state housing finance agencies in 33 states have had emergency rental assistance programs in the last six months, but they won’t be able to meet the current and coming overwhelming need without more federal support. The organization is calling on Congress to make major investments immediately in the Emergency Shelter Grants program and Housing Assistance Fund proposed program, which states could use to provide emergency rental assistance. Federal assistance must be sufficient to alleviate the harm renters and owners have already experienced and ensure renters can remain stably housed until the economy has fully recovered.