With regular updates of rent debt data from around the United States, a new dashboard reveals the depths of one of the most pressing crises of the pandemic.
The National Equity Atlas and the Right to the City Alliance this week launched a new rent debt dashboard with near real-time data on the number and characteristics of renters behind on rent for the United States, 45 states, and 15 metropolitan areas.
An article by Sarah Treuhaft, Jamila Henderson, Michelle Huang, Alex Ramiller, and Justin Scoggins introduces the dashboard, which raises awareness about the mounting rent debt and the potential for mass eviction as "one of the most pressing equity issues created by the Covid-19 pandemic."
"The vast majority of renters who are in debt are low-wage workers — disproportionately people of color — who’ve suffered job and income losses due to the pandemic," according to the article.
The aggregate numbers reveal a debt crisis of a similar scale of the foreclosure crisis of the Great Recession. "As of the end of March 2021, 5.7 million renters – 14 percent of all renter households – were behind on their rent payments," according to the article. The total rent debt owed is estimated at $20 billion. "For comparison, nearly 8 million households lost their homes to foreclosure due to the 2008 financial crisis."
Solutions to all that mounting debt, according to the article, include eviction protection, debt relief, and financial support. With that support, many of these millions of renter households will face eviction.
The dashboard draws data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey and the University of Southern California Center for Economic and Social Research's Understanding Coronavirus in America survey, and will be refreshed approximately every two weeks. The full methodology is available online here.
The End of Single-Family Zoning in California
Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.
Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings
A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.
Austin 'Right to Return' Policy Implemented for the First Time
A North Austin development will be the first approved under the city's new Right to Stay and Right to Return policies, aimed at preventing displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods.
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.