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Why Renters Are Struggling So Much Now

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Demographics

Why Renters Are Struggling So Much Now

Financial struggles were more common among renters than homeowners before Covid.


September 23, 2021
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With the end of the national eviction moratorium and less than $9 billion of the $45 billion from the federal government having been spent on rental assistance, millions of renters are at risk of financial hardship.

The present troubles for renters are explained in large part by inequities that predate the Covid pandemic, said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Indeed, around half of renters in the U.S. were cost burdened in 2019, meaning close to a third or more of their income went to their rent each month, according to the coalition.

“We have to recognize where we were before the pandemic, which was in the midst of a severe housing affordability crisis,” Yentel said.

Financial struggles were more common among renters than homeowners before Covid, the CFPB’s report shows. Renters had an average credit score between 87 points and 106 points lower than homeowners. People who own homes are also less likely to have student loans and auto loans than renters. Low-income workers, women and people of color are also more likely to rent than own a home.

“Past recessions and depressions have seen communities of color and low-income communities of all races and ethnicities left behind when the broader economy recovers,”  said Dave Uejio, the CFPB’s acting director. “We cannot repeat that history.

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