The COVID-19 pandemic had a number of effects across America that went beyond sickness and deaths. Some people had trouble with their jobs and incomes. Others had to work from home. Still, others went hungry. The U.S. Census Bureau began to track many of these changes early in the pandemic and continues tracking them today. One trend it follows is the likelihood people will be evicted or have their homes foreclosed upon.
The study that covers the trends is called the Household Pulse Survey. The bureau has released weekly results from this in three phases. The first began on April 23, 2020, and ended July 21, 2020. The second and third phases followed, with the current phase, 3.1, covering May 12 to May 24. This is “Week 30” of the process.
The survey was created by an effort across several government agencies. These include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Social Security Administration, and the USDA Economic Research Service.
The section that covers whether people may lose their homes is titled “Likelihood of Eviction or Foreclosure.” It is based on answers to questions about the “percentage of adults living in households not current on rent or mortgage where eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is either very likely or somewhat likely.” Some of the eviction activity could be influenced by moratoriums in some parts of the country.
The state with the highest figure for the Week 30 period was Wyoming at 68.8%. This is against the national average of 32.3%. Wyoming was followed closely by Tennessee at 61.6%. The state with the lowest number was Vermont at 4.7%.
The survey also looked at America’s largest metropolitan areas. Riverside, California, topped the metro list at 51.6%. The metro with the lowest figure was Boston at 16.1%.
As each week’s data is released, the numbers change. Perhaps as more people get back to work, the figures for evictions and foreclosures will improve.