Among President Joe Biden’s first moves in office will be to extend a federal eviction moratorium, giving struggling renters time to take advantage of a $25 billion federal assistance program designed to help people pay rent and utilities during the.
Although sorely needed, those moves aren’t nearly enough to cover the nation’s growing back-rent backlog. More than 10 million households in the U.S., or nearly one-fourth of the nation’s renters, are behind on rent, according to the most recent Census Household Pulse survey. A Moody’s Analytics report this week shows that Americans owe a collective $57 billion in back rent as of January.
“The typical delinquent renter will owe $5,600 as they will be almost four months behind on their monthly rent of $1,130 and utilities of $290. They will also be on the hook for a late-payment penalty of $50 per month,” Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi wrote. The most vulnerable renters, according to Moody’s analysis, are between ages 40 and 54 and live in the Northeast corridor, the South or California.