Census: 7 Million Americans Are Behind on Rent

With the federal eviction moratorium due to expire at the end of the month and rent relief programs failing to reach those who need it most, an eviction crisis still looms.

June 13, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Allen J.M. Smith / Shutterstock

[Updated June 14], 2021] Chris Arnold reports on the new confluence of pressures on the nation's renters as the pandemic recedes even as the economic destruction lingers.

The article reports the number of U.S. renters falling behind on payments and at risk of eviction—a figure Planetizen has been monitoring since the outset of the pandemic and the economic shutdown that followed closely on the heels of COVID-19 to U.S. shores.

The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the number of Americans behind on rent at 7 million. That current figure is all the more pressing due to the scheduled expiration of the eviction moratorium by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention at the end of the month—a measure of protection despite legal setbacks and threat of expiration (the moratorium has already been extended on several occasions).

As shared on Planetizen in May, the federal government's large allotments of rent relief during the pandemic are arriving too late because of bureaucratic logjams. Arnold's article starts with an anecdote from a renter experiencing exactly this scenario and explores the consequences of the inefficiency of rent relief during the pandemic.

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