Report: Renters Feeling Forced to Relocate

Unhappy moving couple Shutterstock_2067029414 Renter households relocate for a variety of reasons. Such moves can be for jobs or because of the need for more (or less) space. Citing U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data, the Urban Institute noted that one in five renter households reported feeling pressure to move from their current location within the past six months.

The Urban Land article noted that previous measures of housing instability came from local eviction filings. But it was found that up to three additional renters had to leave their homes for each eviction filing.

Of those who felt pressured to move:

  • 40% indicated that rental increases were the cause
  • 22% said their landlords didn’t make repairs

Eviction threats were cited less often as reasons for relocation, at 7%. Also not mentioned as frequently was having the locks changed, possessions removed, or utilities turned off (1%). But when those pressures did exist:

  • 44% of renter households whose landlords threatened eviction left their homes
  • 61% of renters whose landlords changed the locks or turned off utilities left their homes

The survey also reported that people of color are more likely to feel pressured to move. Nearly one-third of Latinx and Black renters felt pressure to leave, compared to 18% of white renter households. Black households cited increased rent, ignored repairs and missed rent payments as their top reasons for feeling pressure to leave. Meanwhile, 51% of Latinx households feeling pressured to leave cited increasing rent as the cause.

“These data show the stark reality for most renters across the country,” said Kathryn Reynolds and Elizabeth Burton, who authored the report for the Urban Institute. “Very few regulations and laws protect them from destabilizing factors, and little financial assistance is available for renters who need it.” Even in areas where laws protecting tenant health and safety exist, some renters may be unaware of them or may not feel empowered to exercise their rights,” the authors said.

Source: Connect CRE

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