CFPB examines renter vulnerability

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said the ending of COVID-19 pandemic federal and state relief programs could result in millions of renters suffering previously avoided economic harms.

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The CFPB’s report — Financial Conditions for Renters Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic — detailed the manner in which now expired government relief helped maintain renters financial stability.

CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said the report confirms renters, when compared to homeowners, are more likely to be Black or Hispanic, more likely to have lower incomes and more likely to be women.

“They are also at particular risk of falling further behind as the nation recovers from the economic impacts of COVID,” Uejio said. “Past recessions and depressions have seen communities of color and low-income communities of all races and ethnicities left behind when the broader economy recovers. We cannot repeat that history. The CFPB is committed to helping renters and their families thrive. We must amplify and protect the modest gains renters made during the pandemic to ensure this nation’s full and equitable recovery from COVID-19.”

The CFPB report showed renters’ debt obligations differed considerably from those of homeowners before the pandemic. Also, it showed that during the pandemic renters’ financial conditions appeared, on average, to improve as much as, or more than, those of homeowners. Also, it revealed that renters’ financial conditions throughout the pandemic have been more responsive to changes in government financial assistance than those of homeowners.

The CFPB indicated in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic federal and state relief ending, renters are in danger of falling further behind the broader national recovery — noting renters represent more than 30 percent of households.

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