COVID & Unemployment

Nearly a third of tenants either missed or couldn’t pay full July rent, survey finds

Mitchell Hartman Jul 10, 2020
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One reason tenants have been able to pay at all is the $600-a-week federal pandemic unemployment payments. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
COVID & Unemployment

Nearly a third of tenants either missed or couldn’t pay full July rent, survey finds

Mitchell Hartman Jul 10, 2020
Heard on:
One reason tenants have been able to pay at all is the $600-a-week federal pandemic unemployment payments. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

At the end of this month, the $600-a-week federal pandemic unemployment payments that millions of out-of-work Americans are now getting will run out, if Congress doesn’t extend them.

And, just after that, millions of Americans struggling financially will face another challenge: paying their August rent. For people who’ve been laid off or furloughed in the pandemic, and don’t own a home, the first of the month always looms large.

And, in July, making rent hasn’t gone so well for tenants.

“Thirty-two percent had either a missed or partial payment in the first week of July, indicating some pretty alarming levels of difficulty with housing costs,” said economist Chris Salviati at the rental site Apartment List.

Salviati says the group’s tenant surveys find the problem is worse among people making $50,000 a year or less.

One reason tenants have been able to pay at all is the $600-a-week federal pandemic unemployment payments. Michael Karpman at the Urban Institute said its recent survey found, among those getting the money, “pretty big declines in the share worried about paying for basic expenses in the next month, such as the rent or mortgage, food, utility bills and medical care.”

When it comes to the potential end of federal pandemic unemployment payments, it’s not just renters who are worried. Apartment List found nearly 20% of homeowners are now seriously concerned about foreclosure.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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