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Millions of Floridians could face eviction, study finds

Florida

A rental sign is posted in front of an apartment complex Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Phoenix. Housing advocacy groups have joined lawmakers lobbying Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to extend his coronavirus-era moratorium on evictions when it expires, when the 120-day order ending July 22 was supposed to ensure people would not lose their homes if they fell ill to COVID-19 or lost jobs in the pandemic’s economic fallout. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – More than 40 percent of renters across the country are at risk of eviction, a new study found.

To create the analysis, the global advisory firm, Stout Risius Ross, sifted through data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a Furman Center Study, Apartment List and the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse data for Week 5 (May 28 to June 2).

An analysis by Stout Risius Ross found that 1,110,000 renters in Florida are currently unable to pay rent, leaving an estimated $1,456,000,000 in unpaid rent in the state.

Researchers expect nearly 750,000 eviction filings in the next four months as a result of record unemployment amid the pandemic.

Florida is tied with New York for the third-highest eviction risk by the number of renters, just less than California and Texas.

Earlier this week, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an extension to the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, adding to the moratorium that tenants must begin repaying past due rent when they are “no longer adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.” 

On Wednesday, Hillsborough County officials announced that the county is expanding its rental and utility assistance program to allow an estimated 7,000 families to receive up to five months of rent payments.

Nationally, it’s estimated that 17,330,000 renters were unable to pay rent and risk eviction. 

From June to July, the share of renters who are either “very” or “extremely” concerned about being evicted rose from 18 percent to more than 21 percent.

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