Americans behind on rent and mortgage payments are less likely to vote: study
As of the end of September, more than 17 million Americans were behind with rent or mortgage payments, according to the US Census Bureau - and crime could lead to lower voter turnout, according to a new study.
According to Apartment List, a California-based rental listing website, only 55% of Americans who are behind on housing costs plan to vote on November 3rd, compared with 79% of Americans who have mortgage or rental payments on the market Are ongoing.
"There is an unfortunate negative correlation between pain and participation," said Igor Popov, chief economist at Apartment List, who noted that actual voter turnout tends to be significantly lower than American voting intentions. "Economic difficulties come with limited bandwidth."
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was the first year that unpaid housing costs were a significant variable in voter turnout. According to the census, more than 14% of renters and 6.4% of homeowners - a total of 17 million Americans - said they defaulted on housing payments in the last month, though most with landlords and lenders forbearance or alternative (partially or delayed) payment plans to the National Apartment House Council.
"2020 really picked up the existing differences and expanded them to very significant gaps," said Popov.
Tenants are already choosing less than homeowners, and during the pandemic, tenants had significantly more financial difficulties with higher unemployment rates and lower savings rates. According to the study, only 48% of tenants who lag behind rent payments plan to vote on November 3rd, compared to 60% of homeowners who missed mortgage payments.
"While pain is widespread, it is concentrated in many occupations, populations and income groups where tenants are over-represented," Popov said.
Voting based on housing benefit. Graphics according to apartment list.
It could help Republicans or Democrats if they watch the vote from Americans who are behind on home payments this year, Popov said.
"There are ways to connect with this group of potential voters on both ends [of the political spectrum]," Popov said. "The housing insecurity we are facing now is not focused in democratic cities or on the coasts - it really is on par in countries that voted for Trump and Clinton in 2016."
President Donald Trump has shown his support for renters and homeowners with his moratorium on evictions and foreclosures last month, while former Vice President Joe Biden tabled a $ 640 billion housing plan. This plan was highlighted during the Vice Presidential debate earlier this week.
“We see people trying to figure out how they're going to pay rent by the end of the month. Nearly half of American renters are concerned about being able to pay rent by the end of the month of the month, "said Vice-Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris in the October 7th debate.
"As far as I remember and have studied, rent insecurity or affordability of housing was never mentioned in the debates," said Popov.
Sarah Paynter is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter
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