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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

More than 8 million Americans are late on rent as prices increase

By Alex Tanzi Bloomberg

About 15% of U.S. renters aren’t caught up with their payments, according to Census Bureau data, and it’s about to get worse this summer as many leases come due and landlords boost prices.

That represents 8.4 million Americans who were struggling to pay their monthly rents during the June 1 to June 13 period of the Census survey.

The share was markedly higher for Black Americans – almost a quarter are behind – and for people age 40 to 54, an age when many are at their earnings peak.

The Census added new questions about rents to its household survey this month, just in time to catch the peak season of lease renewals.

There are roughly 60 million households who live in rentals, including many on annual leases who haven’t felt the impact from soaring rental prices this past year.

That’s about to change.

About 3.5 million households say they are very or somewhat likely to leave their house in the next two months because of eviction.

In cities from Atlanta to New York, there’s already evidence of the renting squeeze.

Over the last 12 months, rent increased by at least $250 per month for 6.7 million households, according to the survey.

About half of families with kids enrolled in free or reduced-price school meal programs said it’s somewhat or very likely they’ll be evicted in the next couple of months.