An eviction boom could be less than one month away

June 1, 2021, 3:20 PM UTC

On June 30, the protections that have prevented renters who are behind in their payments from being evicted will come to an end. And that could create a massive wave of homeless people across the country.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates there are 11 million Americans currently behind on their rent—15% of the total adult renter population. And while not all of them are facing possible eviction, the lifting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium puts them at risk.

The crisis could be especially challenging for minorities. The CBPP study, based on data collected between April 28 and May 10, finds that 29% of Black adult renters are not caught up on rent. And 21% of Asian adult renters are behind. And households with children are more likely to be delinquent than those without.

The threat of eviction comes as thousands of renters never received the federal relief due to them. States have failed to spend tens of millions of dollars earmarked to help renters avoid losing their homes because of a variety of factors, ranging from poorly administered programs to uncooperative landlords.

The situation is worse in some states than others. In Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, for instance, more than 20% of renters are behind. Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, and Tennessee are close behind. Only 6% of renters in Maine are not caught up on rent, though. And Kansas, Kentucky, and Utah all have just 7% who are behind.

Should they be evicted, those people will have trouble finding affordable housing. Rent prices are spiking as the economy begins to recover from the pandemic, with the average two-bedroom jumping nearly 1% in February.

While the CDC’s moratorium focuses on renters, many homeowners are also finding themselves in uncomfortable situations. The CBPP estimates 6.4 million adults are in a household not caught up on mortgage payment at present.

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