The debt people experienced from back rent during unemployment piled up, but what about those who still had jobs? They had dent due to back rent piling up as well.
A woman from Minnesota came down with COVID-19 last December, forced to go on unpaid sick leave for six months due to her diagnosis of long-haul COVID.
She lost her paycheck due to the unpaid leave, but she was still required to pay her bills.
She could not collect unemployment like others because she chose to remain with her company in order to collect short-term disability.
She wasn’t collecting her full salary and the disability would run out in March.
She applied for long-term disability and was denied, then rent, medical, and credit card bills ate away her entire savings before debt collectors came to collect.
She was able to go back to work in June, but only work 20-24 hours a week per her doctors instructions.
After applying for emergency rental assistance, she has not heard anything and now owes 7 months in rent.
Millions of Americans now have rental debt and are facing eviction despite the fact that they’re gainfully employed.
It is estimated that renters across the country have accumulated $21 billion dollars in back rent.
Right now there’s $46 billion in emergency rental assistance, but it’s incredibly slow to go out, letting the debt grow by the month.
The unemployment rate has decreased dramatically as the rate of people who still owe back rent remains exactly the same.
Before the pandemic hit, many working people were already barely scraping by, pay up to 30% of their annual income in rent. Once they lost their jobs or struggled to collect unemployment, it caused many who barely kept their heads above water to go under.
The federal rental assistance program is supposed to run through the year 2025 to fix the current crisis as well as tackle the issues surround affordable housing that existed long before the global pandemic.
Many people are finding themselves with landlords refusing to accept partial payments, or needing to work multiple jobs and pay certain bills later than others.
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