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Homeowner Struggles Related to COVID-19

On the cusp of November, the United States Census Household Pulse Survey, which deploys real-time data on a range of ways in which people’s lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, showed some 9.9 million Americans had little to no confidence that their household would be able to afford next month's mortgage or rent payment.

The Census' survey breaks down COVID-related struggles by "expected employment loss," "food scarcity," housing insecurity," "likelihood of foreclosure or eviction," household expenses, and more. And it breaks down the data by state. So, for example, a glance at the most recent numbers show that likelihood of eviction and foreclosures are highest in the following regions: District of Columbia, Indiana, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Wyoming, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Arizona.
As for unpaid mortgages and rent, the states with the highest numbers are: Mississippi, Louisiana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Connecticut, Missouri, and West Virginia.
The study also shows that homeowners in certain states—Mississippi, Louisiana, and Nevada, to name the top three—are having more trouble than others keeping up with household expenses beyond the mortgage or rent payment.

The purpose of the census study is to inform federal and state response and recovery planning. It is informing policymakers, journalists, and thereby the public as well, in a way that might lead to some measure of solution.

Housing advocates say that in order to understand the looming eviction crisis our country is facing, we must examine the state of the housing market before COVID-19 emerged.

Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) told CNN we were "in the midst of a severe affordable housing crisis."

The NLIHC Reports a shortage of 7 million affordable rental homes available to low-income renters. Yental explained that people struggling to pay for housing, or who have been evicted, suffer health wise.
"There's real, there's real harm done, to individual people, to families, to kids to communities, and really to our whole country, when we allow homelessness and housing poverty to persist," she told CNN, which used the survey data as a catalyst for providing a list of resources for anyone facing housing-related struggles (as part of its national disaster-related coverage "Impact The World").

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media/Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning news, among others.
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