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A provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that prevented landlords from evicting their tenants during the pandemic and accompanying recession is expiring on July 25.

The protections only covered tenants in properties that used federal assistance or were backed by federal loans. Coupled with a number of other rent protections implemented at state and local levels, the measure addressed some economic concerns for millions of Americans. According to the latest US Census Household Pulse Survey, 33% of renters have “no or slight confidence” in paying next month’s rent.

Share of renter-occupied households

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In the first quarter of 2020 – before COVID-19’s rent freezes and eviction moratoriums – 34.7% of homes were rented, according to Census data. That’s up from a low of 30.8% in 2004 but down from its post-recession peak of 37.1% in 2016.

The renting population tends to be younger, lower-income, and less-white than the homeowning population.

According to 2019 Census data, 58% of Black American households are rented. Fifty-three percent 53% of Hispanic households are rented. Less than 31% of white households are rented.

Share of renting households of racial and ethnic demographics

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A separate Census dataset from 2018 shows that Black households make up 20.2% of all renters in America compared with 8.1% of all homeowners.

About 48% of households with family income less than the median family income rented in the first quarter of 2020, compared with 21% of those making more than the median family income. Real median household income increased 0.8% to $61,937 between 2017 and 2018.

Heads of households ages 35 or younger comprise 34.5% of all renters compared with 18.8% of all homeowners.

People living alone owned 18 million of the 35 million houses in which they resided in 2019. In contrast, married-couple families owned 47 million of the 58 million houses in which they resided in the same year.

Who was covered by the federal moratorium on evictions?

The CARES Act eviction moratorium specifically applied to those apartments financed through federal mortgage programs like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It also includes a number of properties participating in federal assistance programs, including public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 rental assistance and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

In 2019, there were 5 million households renting through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) various subsidized assistance programs (including public housing, housing-choice vouchers, and Section 8 programs). That’s 11% of the nation’s 43.6 million rent-based households.

Subsidized housing

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The average total household income for those living in HUD residences was $14,835 in 2019. One in 10 HUD-subsidized households earn less than $5,000 per year.

Seventy-five percent of HUD-subsidized households are headed by females, and 32% of households are headed by single mothers.

HUD-subsidized households are disproportionately occupied by minorities: 65% have heads-of-households who are Black, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander, or Hispanic. The percentage of households in which the race of the head of household is white and not Hispanic is almost half that: 33%.

Black households make up 42% of HUD-subsidized rent-based households. Nineteen percent of heads of household are Hispanic.

While the effects of the end of the federal eviction moratorium remains to be seen, it could impact a segment of US households that tend to be economically disadvantaged compared to the rest of the country. The number of evictions could serve as a key indicator of how local economies and their residents are faring during this COVID-19 induced recession.

Picture of Subsidized Households
Household Pulse Survey
Housing Vacancies and Homeownership (CPS/HVS)
American Community Survey

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