About 6.7 million rent-laden families could face eviction once the enhanced federal unemployment insurance expires at the end of July and eviction bans across the country are lifted. That is according to a new analysis from UrbanFootprint, a technology company that builds urban planning software.
According to a report by UrbanFooprint, the level of the displacement would be unprecedented in U.S history and carries the potential to destabilize communities for many years to come.
The analysis made use of unemployment claims and the cost of housing, among other factors to determine which states had the most risk of an eviction crisis. At the top of the list were California, New York, Florida, Georgia, and Texas.
According to the authors of the report and many other housing experts, if the U.S economy does not recover speedily, additional federal aid is needed to keep people at risk of eviction, who are mainly women and people of color, in their homes.
Another part of the report also states that the path back to the pre-Covid era economic activity and employment rates remained unpredictable at best, leaving the fate of many renters and communities hanging in the balance.
With that in mind, the number of evictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic could be higher or lower. There are several other factors, such as savings and government aid, that can also affect a renter’s likelihood of being evicted.
The threatening eviction plight
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in over 40 million people losing their jobs, the United States had a housing affordability crisis. According to UrbanFootprint, close to 50 percent of renter households were rent-burdened during the pre-Covid era. A quarter was severely burdened, meaning rentals took up more than 50 percent of their monthly earnings.
The coronavirus pandemic has only worsened that problem. Tenants are more likely than landlords to be employed in the service and hospitality industries, which were decimated when states closed down large parts of their economies to curb the spread of the disease. According to the Urban Institute, rent-burdened employees are more than twice as likely to lose their jobs compared to other renters.
Last week, around 30.5 million people filed for unemployment benefits, and economists are concerned that even more people will become jobless as states encounter difficulties in reopening their economies.
More federal aid coming
Housing policy experts, those at the National Low Income Housing Coalition included, have made calls for a $100 billion emergency rental assistance package for both tenants and homeowners.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would grant $100 billion to rental assistance programs and $75 billion for mortgage relief. It also extends the federal eviction moratorium established by the CARES Act through March next year. It is now in the hands of the Senate, where it is not likely to pass.
Also, Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill that would stop all evictions countrywide through March next year and require landlords to give renters 30 days’ notice for all evictions after the ban is lifted.