The number of renters who did not pay for their April rent increased as the coronavirus hit the economy and caused skyrocketing unemployment, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Only 69% of tenants have paid for the month thus far, according to the landlord trade group National Multifamily Housing Council.
That number is down from 81% who paid their rent last month and 82% who paid their rent in April of 2019.
Though more than 30% of tenants have not paid their rent, some may still pay later and some payments may not have processed yet.
But the report also notes that the figure was based on 13.4 million higher-end rental units, meaning it does not include single-family homes as well as public or government-subsidized housing.
Many renters are protected from eviction under federal and state emergency orders.
May will be worse:
Many believe that May will only get worse as the crisis continues, The New York Times reports.
Nearly 10 million people have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks and that number is expected to rise.
Experts also worry about what happens when evictions restrictions are lifted.
“Eventually the moratoriums will be lifted, and we don’t want to create an environment where low-income renters fall off a financial cliff and we have a rash of evictions,” warned Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Crisis exposes rent crisis:
The ongoing crisis has highlighted many of the existing woes faced by millions of renters.
A Harvard University study found that 44 million households spent more than half their income on rent, meaning that the economic shutdown will make it virtually impossible for countless families to make ends meet.
A Federal Reserve study found that 40% of Americans would have difficulty covering even a $400 emergency expense without their income.
“This is a moment of clarity about a broken system in which 11 million people were already paying over 50 percent of their income on rent,” said Tara Raghuveer, the director of Homes Guarantee.