January 20, 2021 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

UCLA Study Finds 1 in 5 Tenants in LA Have Struggled to Pay Rent During Pandemic

UCLA and USC release joint report on impact of COVID-19 pandemic on renters

By Staff Writer

Over 20 percent of Los Angeles County tenants paid rent late at least once from April to July, while between May and July, about 7 percent did not pay any rent at least once, according to a recent study. 

A joint UCLA–USC report released August 31 reports among households in the county that did not pay rent, either in full or partially, about 98,000 tenants have been threatened with an eviction, while an additional 40,000 report that their landlord has already begun eviction proceedings against them.

The report analyzed data from the U.S. Census, as well as data from an original survey conducted in July 2020 of 1,000 Los Angeles County renter households. The survey, in particular, gave the researchers new insights into the circumstances facing renters. 

“I think everyone understood, early on, that renters might be in trouble as a result of COVID-19 and its economic fallout, but conventional sources of data don’t give us a good window into whether renters are paying or not, and into how they are paying if they do pay,” said lead author Michael Manville, an associate professor of urban planning at UCLA. “We were able, by using data from a special census survey, and especially our own original survey of renters, to get a direct sense of these questions.”

The study found that tenants have been facing unprecedented hardships during the COVID-19 crisis, substantially more so than homeowners. Overall, the study also found that most tenants are still paying their rent during the pandemic but are often doing so by relying on unconventional funding sources. The majority who pay late or not at all have either lost their work, gotten sick with COVID-19 or both, according to the study. 

Among the findings, about 16% of tenants report paying rent late each month from April through July, About 10% did not pay rent in full for at least one month between May and July and About 2% of renters are three full months behind on rent. This translates to almost 40,000 households in a deep financial hole.

Late payment and nonpayment are strongly associated with very low incomes (households earning less than $25,000 annually) and being Black or Hispanic, the study noted. 

“Even before the pandemic, L.A. renters, especially low-income renters, were struggling,” said Michael Lens, associate faculty director of the UCLA Lewis Center. “Nonpayment occurs disproportionately among the lowest-income renter households, so repaying back rent could be a tremendous burden for them.” 

The study also found that renters were suffering disproportionately from anxiety, depression and food scarcity, and they are relying much more than in the past on credit cards, family and friends, and payday loans to cover their expenses. One-third of households with problems paying rent relied on credit card debt and about 40 percent used emergency payday loans.

The prevalence of these nonconventional forms of payment, along with the incidence of job loss among tenants, suggests the importance of direct income assistance to renter households.

Tenants collecting unemployment insurance were 39% less likely to miss rent payments. Just 5% of households that hadn’t lost a job or fallen sick reported not paying the rent.

Co-author Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said that although data show that most renters have been paying their rent, government policies can help strengthen the ability to do so.

“One of the main concerns among landlords at the beginning of the pandemic was that tenants weren’t going to pay their rent if they knew they weren’t going to be evicted,” Green said. “Not only have we not seen any evidence of this, but getting money in renters’ hands through unemployment insurance or rental assistance helps a lot.”

Related Posts

FDA-Authorized Coronavirus Testing at Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Drive-thru and walk-up testing seven-days a week   The award-winning Shore Hotel, located steps away from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier,...

Edify TV: Ticketing Maskless Angelenos?

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Los Angeles lawmakers want to fine people for not wearing masks. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Approved by California: Culver City Beat – January, 17, 2021

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project Approved by California * LAPD Crack Down...

Man Robbed at Gunpoint at Culver City Bus Stop

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Armed robbery occurs Sunday evening By Chad Winthrop A man was robbed at gunpoint while sitting at a Culver City...

Downtown Culver City Park Revitalization

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Community workshop to discuss the revitalization of Media Park By Chad Winthrop The public is invited to attend a virtual...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

500 Veteran Housing Vouchers Provided by HUD to LA

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

After several years of advocacy from members of the BCC Homelessness Task Force to increase the volume of, and monthly...

$50 Million Dollar Doomed Estate of Mohamed Hadid On Market for $8.5M

January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021

Today on Westside Cribz, Check on these top things for a safer home, Mohammed Hadid’s $50M dollar estate on sale...

Message From the Culver City Police Department Chief Ahead of Inauguration Day

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The Culver City Police Department is aware of recent media reports regarding off-duty police officers participating in the acts of...

Who is Slashing Local Brown Pelican Pouches? $5,000 Reward Offered

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Wounds are “deliberate and malicious”wildlife organization says By Chad Winthrop Who is harming Brown Pelicans in the Marina del Rey-area?...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

Student Art Contest “Water Is Life” Accepting Entries: Culver City Beat – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Student Art Contest “Water Is Life” Accepting Entries * Study Predicts...

‘No Gimmicks’, NYC-Style Pizza Coming to Westside

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Food Review: The Westside’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene By Kerry Slater In a city filled with...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.