Special Report

Missed Housing Payments Are Piling up in Nearly Every State

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50. Maine
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 12.3% (total: 80,396)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 48.2% (23rd highest)
> Median household income: $55,602 (16th lowest)
> June unemployment: 6.6% (6th lowest)

In Maine, 12.3% of adults missed a rent or mortgage payment in June, or are likely to miss the following month’s payment. This is the smallest share of any state and well below the 25.3% of adults nationwide.

Continued ability to afford housing for a large percentage of Maine’s population throughout the coronavirus pandemic is likely attributable in part to the resilience of the state’s job market. As of June, Maine’s unemployment rate stood at 6.6%, lower than the vast majority of states and well below the 11.1% national rate.

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49. Minnesota
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 12.6% (total: 362,947)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 46.2% (17th lowest)
> Median household income: $70,315 (13th highest)
> June unemployment: 8.6% (23rd lowest)

Based on a U.S. Census Bureau survey conducted between July 2 and July 7, 2020, 12.6% of adults in Minnesota will likely soon miss a rental or mortgage payment, or already have — the second smallest share of any state.

Generally, states with lower rates of delinquent housing payments have higher incomes overall. In Minnesota, the typical household earns $70,315 a year. Meanwhile, the typical American household earns $61,937 annually.

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48. Montana
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 13.5% (total: 71,263)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 44.4% (10th lowest)
> Median household income: $55,328 (13th lowest)
> June unemployment: 7.1% (8th lowest)

Montana residents have been far less likely than most Americans to struggle to afford housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 13.5% of adults in the state will likely soon miss a rental or mortgage payment, or already have, compared to over one-quarter of all American adults.

The average cost of rent in Montana is lower than it is in most other states and, partially as a result, housing accounts for a smaller than average share of most people’s income. Average gross rent is equal to just 8.6% of median income in Montana, a smaller share than in all but eight other states.

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47. Delaware
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 14.3% (total: 69,846)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 52.6% (5th highest)
> Median household income: $64,805 (16th highest)
> June unemployment: 12.5% (10th highest)

In Delaware, 14.3% of adults have not been able to afford rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, a smaller share than in most other states. The state has a low housing payment delinquency rate despite being home to a large percentage of residents for whom housing costs are a significant burden. Nearly 53% of all renters in the state spend 30% or more of their income on housing — one of the largest shares of any state.

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46. Massachusetts
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 15.6% (total: 579,589)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 49.8% (13th highest)
> Median household income: $79,835 (4th highest)
> June unemployment: 17.4% (the highest)

Only 15.6% of adults in Massachusetts either cannot afford to pay for housing or have serious doubts over their continued ability to do so. Nationwide, more than one quarter of adults are struggling to afford housing during the pandemic.

Massachusetts residents are more likely to be able to afford housing despite the worst unemployment crisis in the country. The state’s 17.4% jobless rate is the highest of all states and well above the 11.1% national rate. Still, for those who are working, incomes are generally high. The typical Massachusetts household earns nearly $80,000 a year, far more than the national median income of $61,937.