* This is, without a shadow of a doubt, a looming nightmare perhaps unlike anything we’ve ever seen…
As the United States continues to face record unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic, 30% of Americans missed their housing payments in June, according to a survey by Apartment List, an online rental platform.
That’s up from 24% who missed their payment just two months earlier in April and about on par with the 31% who missed payments in May. Renters, younger and lower-income households and urban dwellers were the groups most likely to miss their housing payments, Apartment List found.
At the same time that this “historically high” rate of Americans are missing their housing payments, eviction protections put in place at the beginning of Covid-19′s spread in the U.S. are beginning to expire. Additionally, the current 30 million unemployed Americans will lose the extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits at the end of July.
Taken together, experts warn of a coming housing “apocalypse” unless the government intervenes. Some 37% of renters and 26% of homeowners are at least somewhat worried that they will face eviction or foreclosure in the next six months, Apartment List reports. Columbia University researchers estimate that homelessness could increase by between 40% and 45% this year over where it was in January 2019.
* And while I cannot begin to fathom the desperation among those who are piling up debt to their landlords or banks, this is just irresponsible reporting and encouraging hope where none actually exists…
Housing advocates fear eviction boom, urge Gov. Pritzker to cancel rent, mortgage payments
Housing advocates Tuesday taped notices demanding rent payments within five days on the gate of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s home in the Gold Coast in hopes of drawing attention to what they say is an imminent housing crisis.
In a twist, the notices were addressed to the “renters of Illinois” and listed Pritzker as the “landlord or landlord’s agent,” with service on behalf of the real estate lobby.
The group posted the notices while calling on the first-term governor to cancel rent and mortgage payments and to lift the ban on rent control because so many people are out of work due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, said Rod Wilson, one of the organizers of the Lift the Ban Coalition. The group’s efforts took place the day before the first of the month, which is typically when renters have to pay rent.
“All we’re saying is sign the paper, cancel the rent, cancel the mortgage, put a regulation on rent increases. That’s all we’re asking for,” Wilson said. “Otherwise, he’s going to be known as the billionaire governor that led us into the worst housing crisis ever. And I say, ‘Shame on you.’ ”
No governor can simply make rent and mortgage payments go away on his or her own. None. And I don’t know how it would be constitutional for the General Assembly to do it, either. And yet, that’s not even hinted at in the story. All the Sun-Times did was perpetuate a really way out-there myth, which means even more people will believe this tale.