Millions of Americans are heading into the holidays unemployed and over $5,000 behind on rent

Economists warn many unemployed families won’t be able to pay rent and utilities without more stimulus aid from Congress

News Story (NATIONAL)

Heather Long
Washington Post
December 7, 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Housing, Housing: Eviction


Millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic have fallen thousands of dollars behind on rent and utility bills, a warning sign that people are running out of money for basic needs.

Nearly 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities by January, Moody’s Analytics warns. Last month, 9 million renters said they were behind on rent, according to a Census Bureau survey.

Economists say the data underscores the deepening financial disaster for many families as the pandemic continues to shut off work opportunities, lending new urgency to negotiations over a second round of stimulus that could reinstate federal unemployment insurance and rental assistance, among other forms of aid.