Special Report

Missed Housing Payments Are Piling up in Nearly Every State

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40. Idaho
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 17.9% (total: 154,654)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 46.1% (16th lowest)
> Median household income: $55,583 (15th lowest)
> June unemployment: 5.6% (3rd lowest)

Idaho has been largely spared the worst effects of the pandemic. There have been only 668 cases of the virus for every 100,000 people to date, well below the 1,054 per 100,000 concentration nationwide. Additionally, unemployment stands at just 5.6% in the state, nearly the lowest jobless rate in the country, and well below the 11.1% national rate.

Fewer job losses in Idaho mean fewer residents are struggling to pay their bills. Only 17.9% of adults in Idaho missed a rent or mortgage payment in June, or are likely to miss the following month’s payment, compared to 25.3% share of adults nationwide.

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39. Oregon
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 18.2% (total: 435,713)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 49.5% (15th highest)
> Median household income: $63,426 (19th highest)
> June unemployment: 11.2% (14th highest)

Oregon had one of the longest standing stay-at-home orders of any state, and while the virus was far better-contained there than it was in much of the rest of the country, a relatively large percentage of state residents felt the economic squeeze. Oregon is one of only 15 states where more than half of all adults are in households that have seen a reduction in employment income since mid-March.

Despite the financial hit many households took in recent weeks and months, Oregon residents are still less likely than most Americans to fail to pay their bills on time during the pandemic. Just 18.2% of adults in the state did not, or likely will not, pay their rent or mortgage on time as of late June, compared to more than one-quarter of adults nationwide.

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38. Arizona
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 18.3% (total: 715,224)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 47.1% (20th lowest)
> Median household income: $59,246 (24th lowest)
> June unemployment: 10.0% (20th highest)

Though cases of COVID-19 are spiking rapidly in Arizona, the state’s economy has weathered the pandemic better than most — so far. As of June, Arizona’s jobless rate of 10.0% is lower than most states and slightly better than the 11.1% national rate. A healthier job market means a larger share of the state’s population has a steady source of income to put towards bills.

Nationwide, 25.3% of adults have already missed, or will soon miss, a housing payment. Meanwhile, only 18.3% of adults in Arizona cannot afford to pay their rent or mortgage.

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37. Michigan
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 18.4% (total: 918,772)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 48.3% (22nd highest)
> Median household income: $56,697 (20th lowest)
> June unemployment: 14.8% (6th highest)

Housing is generally more affordable in Michigan than it is on average nationwide. The typical home in Michigan is worth 2.9 times the median income in the state. Nationwide, the typical home is worth 3.7 times the median annual household income. Additionally, only 48.3% of renters in the state are burdened by housing costs — spending at least 30% of their annual income on rent. Nationwide, 49.7% of renters are considered housing-cost burdened.

Likely due in part to the state’s relatively affordable housing market, a fairly small share of Michigan residents can no longer pay their bills, despite a surge in unemployment. Just 18.4% of adults in the state missed, or will soon miss, a rent or mortgage payment, compared to 25.3% nationwide.

Source: Photo by Abbie Parr / Getty Images

36. Washington
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 18.7% (total: 785,308)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 47.7% (23rd lowest)
> Median household income: $74,073 (9th highest)
> June unemployment: 9.8% (21st highest)

Although it was the site of the first known case of the novel coronavirus in the United States, Washington has contained the diseases’s spread better than most states, as the number of cases per capita in the state to date is about half the national concentration. The economic fallout has also been relatively mild as unemployment in the state stands at 9.8%, considerably lower than the 11.1% national jobless rate.

With a smaller share of the labor force out of work, Washington residents are more likely to be able to continue paying their bills during the pandemic. Just 18.7% of adults in the state missed, or will likely soon miss, a rent or mortgage payment, compared to more than one-quarter of adults nationwide.