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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Housing Insecurity Persists For Renters of Color Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened California’s chronic economic and housing inequalities for low-income and people-of-color households. This brief uses data from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (HPS) and California’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to analyze the experience of renters and their participation in critical emergency rental assistance programs. The authors find significant disparities linked to income class and race/ethnicity among California renters who are experiencing financial distress and who have participated in rental relief programs. Low-income renters and renters of color were more likely to struggle to keep up with rent payments than their white counterparts. Further, although more than 534,000 California renters had applied for the rent relief program, Asians Americans and Latinos were less likely to receive assistance even after accounting for income, age, and metropolitan area of residence.

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