COVID-19 and associated economic shutdowns have led to unprecedented job losses and concerns about how households will pay rent while unemployed and make up for missed payments once reemployed. While the CDC has temporarily halted evictions until December 31, 2020, accrued rental debt will put many households at risk of eviction once the moratorium expires. Household Rental Debt During COVID-19 provides new estimates of the number of households with rental debt, and the amount of debt owed, resulting from pandemic-related job losses.
- As a result of pandemic-related job losses, we estimate that by December 2020, 1.3 million renter households will owe $7.2 billion in rent, which is around $5,400 each. These 1.3 million households contain 3.9 million individuals: 2.8 million adults and 1.1 million children. This is in addition to any household debt that existed before the pandemic.
- Policies designed to replace lost income for unemployed workers — such as standard state UI, the supplementary $600 per week CARES Act UI benefit available from April through the end of July, and the Economic Impact Payments sent to households in April — have been very effective at preventing rental debt for those households that receive them.
- Hispanic households, Black households, and family households headed by single women are disproportionately likely to experience rental debt by December 2020.
- There is substantial variation in rental debt outcomes by state, as detailed in the report.
Read the report.