Just as the U.S. Supreme Court dismantles a national eviction moratorium, many LGBT renters report being in dire straits, according to a new study from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.
The think tank analyzed data from the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey, which culled information from individuals during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers compared data from LGBT people and non-LGBT people, and looked at how different racial groups among those distinct groups were faring.
The Williams Institute reports an estimated 19 percent of LGBT people who rent their homes are not caught up on rent. Nnearly half (47 percent) of queers who owe rent say they fear eviction within the next two months. LGBT people of color are most affected by rent woes; they're more likely to be renters and not homeowners, and more likely to be behind on rent compared to all other groups.
Housing instability has been markedly worsened by COVID-19. The pandemic has hampered the economy, especially in the service sector, where many LGBT people work.
“A key component to a person’s housing stability is whether they own or rent,” lead author Bianca D.M. Wilson, senior scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute, said in a statement. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the risk that LGBT people — and LGBT people of color in particular — will lose their housing as federal eviction protections are set to expire in October.”
Other major findings from the Williams Institute include:
41 percent of LGBT adults rent their homes, compared to 25 percent of non-LGBT adults.
An estimated 47 percent of LGBT people of color rent their homes, compared to 37 percent of white LGBT people, 36 percent of non-LGBT people of color, and 19 percent of white non-LGBT people.
19 percent of LGBT renters report not being caught up on rent, compared to 14 percent of non-LGBT people.
An estimated 30 percent of LGBT people of color were behind on rent, compared to 10 percent of white LGBT people, 19 percent of non-LGBT people of color, and 10 percent of white non-LGBT people.