College Columns June 2021 - Page 17

( April 14-26 , 2021 ), nearly 6 percent of adult respondents across the U . S . reported that they are behind on rent or mortgage payments and that they have slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month ’ s rent or mortgage on time ; of the respondents reporting arrears in rent or mortgage obligations , roughly 30 percent said that eviction or foreclosure in the next two months was very likely or somewhat likely . The Household Pulse Survey data from late April 2021 show important improvements over survey data from late April 2020 ; last year , a full 24.6 percent of respondents had reported that they were not current on rent or mortgage payments .
The Census Bureau ’ s survey data report perceptions of housing insecurity -- not actual evictions and foreclosures and , in theory , there should have been few residential dispossessions given federal and many state laws staying these remedies . But these moratoria are all temporary and have been imperfectly enforced across the U . S . Moreover , although self-reported numbers of housing insecurity have improved , improvements in perceptions of housing security continue to show substantial numbers of Americans at risk for homelessness . Eviction of even a fractional percentage of the 123 million households in the U . S . would represent an economic disaster – for those evicted , as well as for the extended families and communities with responsibilities for the evicted .
A recent report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau further confirms Census reported levels of U . S . housing insecurity . The March 2021 CFPB report concludes that “[ o ] ver 11 million families are behind on their rent or mortgage payments : 2.1 million families are behind at
least three months on mortgage payments , while 8.8 million are behind on rent .” Once federal and states stays on eviction and foreclosure lapse , warns the report , millions of Americans are at “ enormous risk of losing their homes .” These figures suggest the possibility of homelessness in numbers we haven ’ t seen since the Great Depression , when 2 to 3 million recently evicted and foreclosed Americans lived in Hoovervilles across the U . S . It is important to recognize , in addition , that housing insecurity threatens some Americans far more than others . The CFPB study specifies that “ Black and Hispanic families are more than twice as likely to report being behind on housing payments than white families ,” and that risks of eviction and foreclosure are graver for manufactured home residents than residents in multi-unit buildings , and multi-unit residents are at greater risk than those in single residential-unit buildings .
Remember that tsunami of bankruptcy filings that we have been hearing about since last year ? So far , federal and state continued on page 27
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