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The Potential Impact of COVID-19 Related Evictions in New Jersey - Stout Report

Posted by Elorm Ocansey on July 23rd 2020

The economic fallout of COVID-19 has financially strained households throughout the country, including those in New Jersey. As is often the case, the most vulnerable populations are negatively impacted the most and face uncertain circumstances around necessities like housing, healthcare, and education. The following are key findings from Stout’s “Potential Impact of COVID-19 Related Evictions in New Jersey” report.

Stout analyzed publicly available data and estimates that:

  1. Approximately 40% (450,000 renter households) of all New Jersey renter households will not be able to pay their rent next month.

  2. The unpaid rent from these households over the past several months is estimated to be approximately $687 million and will only continue to increase due to the economic fallout of COVID-19.

  3. New Jersey could experience between 304,000 eviction filings in the coming four months, an estimated 600% increase from pre-COVID-19 levels.

If New Jersey renter households face increased housing instability and eviction, they will rely more heavily on expensive social safety net programs, often paid for in part by state and local governments. These social impacts include but are not limited to:

o Increased need for homeless shelters and alternative housing programs (e.g., Rapid Re-housing, Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing);

o Increased Medicaid spending related to physical and mental health issues as well as likely increases in COVID-19 cases due to overcrowded housing arrangements and overcrowded shelters;

o Increased need for foster care and child welfare services for children who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability;

o Further disruption to the education system and children’s ability to learn; and

o Long-term trauma to households, families, children, and communities in New Jersey.

Stout estimates that the economic impact of housing instability and evictions in New Jersey is likely to be billions of dollars if immediate action is not taken to provide renters the opportunity to repay unpaid rent and remain in their homes. A full copy of Stout’s report can be found here.