What percentage of Americans are struggling with rent?

Outlook for multifamily sector "is as positive as it has been in years"

What percentage of Americans are struggling with rent?

Around 77% of renters were able to make a full or partial rent payment by June 06, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s survey of 11.7 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the US.

The share of those who paid rent was down 3.8% from a year ago. However, NMHC noted that June 05 and 06 fell on a weekend and may not be compared directly to last year’s figures.

“Today’s data is the most recent indicator of a strengthening economy, a recovering job market and robust demand in the apartment industry,” said NMHC president Doug Bibby. “Having weathered the worst of the pandemic, we can say with increasing confidence that the outlook for the multifamily sector is as positive as it has been in years.”

While the June figures were encouraging, Bibby said that the rising costs of building materials are making it increasingly challenging to bring affordable apartment homes to the market. At the same time, more and more firms are having trouble finding labor, further delaying construction.

On the bright side, rental assistance remains a top industry priority, according to Bibby,

“Federal lawmakers should be applauded for passing legislation that resulted in almost $50 billion in rental assistance funds,” he said. “This comes as the industry continues to work alongside its residents to keep them stably housed, setting up payment plans and helping those in need secure rental assistance. However, a national eviction moratorium remains in effect. The continuation of this policy will ultimately only serve to place insurmountable levels of debt on already struggling households. We have much to look forward to, but these challenges are real and need to be dealt with urgently.”