Special Report

Missed Housing Payments Are Piling up in Nearly Every State

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20. Pennsylvania
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 24.4% (total: 1.6 million)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 48.0% (24th highest)
> Median household income: $60,905 (21st highest)
> June unemployment: 13.0% (9th highest)

Half of all Pennsylvania adults live in a household in which someone lost employment income since March 13, just above the U.S. rate of 49.9%. The state also reported the ninth highest rate of unemployment in June, at 13.0%.

Yet 24.4% of adults either missed their most recent housing payment, or have little or no confidence that they can afford their next monthly payment, nearly a full percentage point lower than the U.S. rate. Pennsylvania residents are better able to afford their housing than those in most states. The state’s median home value is 3.1 times higher than the median household income, well below the 3.7 value-to-income ratio of the U.S. overall.

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19. Connecticut
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 25.3% (total: 504,996)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 52.5% (6th highest)
> Median household income: $76,348 (5th highest)
> June unemployment: 9.8% (21st highest)

In Connecticut, 25.3% of adults either missed their rent or mortgage payment in June or are not confident they will be able to meet that obligation on time in July. This is exactly in line with the overall U.S. rate.

More than half of all adults in Connecticut, 52.8%, live in a household in which someone had a loss of employment income since the pandemic began, the seventh highest percentage of all states. Like many states, the incomes of renters are well below those of homeowners. Connecticut residents paying mortgages or home loans earn an average of $147,646, while renters have an average income of $58,388. Connecticut has the sixth highest share of renters who are housing-cost burdened, at 52.5%.

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18. California
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 25.9% (total: 5.7 million)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 54.6% (3rd highest)
> Median household income: $75,277 (6th highest)
> June unemployment: 14.9% (5th highest)

In California, 25.9% of adults cannot afford rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, closely in line with the average share nationwide. While late or missed rental or mortgage payments are about as common in California as they are nationwide, affordable housing is less common in the state than it is nationally. Nearly 55% of renters in California are burdened by housing costs, meaning they spend 30% or more of their income on rent, compared to just under half of all renters nationwide. Additionally, the typical home in California is worth 7.3 times the median income in the state. Nationwide, the typical home is worth just 3.7 times the median annual household income.

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17. Kentucky
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 26.3% (total: 548,852)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 44.4% (11th lowest)
> Median household income: $50,247 (7th lowest)
> June unemployment: 4.3% (the lowest)

Kentucky’s job market, so far, has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic relatively unscathed. The state’s June unemployment rate of 4.3% is the lowest in the country. Despite avoiding the massive job losses other states suffered, 26.3% of adults — slightly higher than average — are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage during the pandemic.

Low incomes likely explain why some state residents are having difficulty making housing payments on time. Across Kentucky, 8.4% of households earn less than $10,000 a year, one of the largest shares of any state.

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16. Hawaii
> Adults who cannot afford monthly housing costs: 26.7% (total: 192,874)
> Renters who are housing-cost burdened: 52.9% (4th highest)
> Median household income: $80,212 (3rd highest)
> June unemployment: 13.9% (8th highest)

Nearly 27% of adults in Hawaii have not been able to afford their monthly housing payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawaii’s economy, which depends largely on tourism, has been hit especially hard by lockdown measures. Unemployment stands at 13.9% in the state, well above the 11.1% national rate.

Even before the pandemic and the resulting economic fallout, many in Hawaii struggled to afford housing. Nearly 53% of renters in the state spend at least 30% of their income on housing, a higher housing-cost burden than in all but three other states.