50% of LGBTQ people fear eviction because they are behind on rent

Rent Eviction LGBTQ People

Protesters march in Long Beach for renters’ rights on Jan. 20, 2015. Photo: Ron Javorsky

Some LGBTQ renters report being behind on rent and fear eviction from their homes in the next few months, according to a report.

The report comes out one week after the Supreme Court struck down an extended eviction moratorium.

Approximately 20% of LGBTQ renters report being behind on rent, compared to 14% of non-LGBTQ renters, according to the report by the Williams Institute, a think tank at the UCLA School of Law.

Also, LGBTQ renters who are behind on rent are slightly more likely than non-LGBTQ renters who are behind on payments to fear eviction within the next two months, at 47% and 46%, respectively.

“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 news release. “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 have been removed.

US Census data: LGBTQ people face economic hardships more than others

Researchers used data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, collected from July 21 to Aug. 2, to examine rental housing stability late in the COVID-19 pandemic among LGBTQ people compared to non-LGBTQ people, accounting for differences by race, the news release said.

Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing LGBTQ+ Americans experience economic distress at a higher rate than their straight and cisgender peers.

The report is the latest in a growing field of research showing the COVID-19 pandemic is having a harsher impact on LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ people of color and LGBTQ youth, than heterosexual people.

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The end of the eviction moratorium will have a similar disproportionate impact, according to the Williams Institute report.

Rent their homes

  • 41% of LGBTQ people
  • 25% of non-LGBTQ adults
  • 47% of LGBTQ people of color
  • 37% of white LGBTQ people

Behind on rent

  • 30% of LGBTQ people of color
  • 10% of LGBTQ white people
  • 19% of non-LGBTQ people of color
  • 10% of white non-LGBTQ people

Fear losing their home in two months

  • 51% of LGBTQ people of color
  • 38% of white LGBTQ people
  • 46% of non-LGBTQ people people of color
  • 47% of white non-LGBTQ people

Evictions can resume unless a state or local jurisdiction has implemented its own moratorium. Six states — California, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington — and the District of Columbia have their own moratoriums in effect that aren’t impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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