Report Highlights Ongoing Housing Instability Among Renters

Report Highlights Ongoing Housing Instability Among Renters

Urban Institute recently issued a survey and report entitled “The Looming Eviction Cliff: Findings from the Urban Institute Coronavirus Tracking Survey.” The data from this report come from the second wave of Urban Institute’s Coronavirus Tracking Survey, administered between Sept. 11 and 28 to a nationally representative group of nonelderly adults.

The data shows the housing instability right before the CDC declared a national moratorium on evictions and the continuing challenges when the moratorium ends at the end of January. The survey finds the following:

  • Nearly 14 percent of renters, or 9.5 million renters, reported problems paying rent in the previous 30 days. People of color are disproportionally affected by COVID-19, unemployment, and housing instability, and these numbers mask significant differences by race and ethnicity.
  • About 10 percent of adult renters were behind on rent. About 4 percent were behind one to two months and 3 percent were two or more months behind.
  • More than one in four renters worried about being able to pay rent in the next month. Almost one in two Hispanic/Latinx renters and more than one in four Black renters were worried about paying next month’s rent.
  • About 5 percent of renters, or 3.3 million renters, reported receiving an eviction notice or threat of eviction from their landlords since the beginning of March 2020. Black and Hispanic/Latinx renters were more likely than white renters to have received an eviction notice or been threatened with eviction since March.

To address the widespread housing insecurity amid COVID-19, the authors recommend strengthening the CDC eviction moratorium, expanding rental assistance, implementing eviction diversion programs, and providing tenants the right to legal assistance. The paper can be found here.