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Floridians aren’t confident they can pay rent amid coronavirus, census survey shows

More than 1 million residents don’t believe they can make rent

FILE - In this May 20, 2020, file photo, signs that read "No Job No Rent" hang from the windows of an apartment building during the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Washington. The pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted authorities around the U.S. to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. But not everyone is covered, and some landlords are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE - In this May 20, 2020, file photo, signs that read "No Job No Rent" hang from the windows of an apartment building during the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Washington. The pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted authorities around the U.S. to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. But not everyone is covered, and some landlords are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Millions of Floridians aren’t confident they can pay rent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau has been administering what it calls Household Pulse Surveys since the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, getting a gauge on how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted communities all over the nation in terms of healthcare, education, unemployment and the overall economy.

In the fifth week of its survey, which was conducted between May 28-June 2, revealed that more than a million Floridians reported they have “no confidence” in being able to make rent.

Teams with the Census Bureau surveyed more than 5 million Floridians, with more than a quarter describing little to no confidence to be able to make payment and expressing housing insecurity. The survey responses are broken into percentages below.

Occupied without rentNo confidenceSlight confidenceModerate confidenceHigh confidenceDeferred rentNo report
3.23%20.9%17.1%24.3%32.6%0.64%1.23%
162,5741,050,652859,9371,219,8241,637,19731,97361,664

Of those who responded, more than 1.6 million residents said they have high confidence they’ll be able to make their rent payment and about another million renters expressing they have “moderate confidence” which the Census Bureau describes much like a 50/50 chance.

The data reveals that a majority of those surveyed fall within the 25-54 age range, note the data is organized by household rather than by individual respondents. According to the data, most of the respondents are married.

Nearly 3 million of the households who responded to the survey reported it had an income of less than $34,999. The next income bracket with most respondents fell between $35,000-$74,999.

The Household Pulse Survey also asks questions regarding to employment, an ongoing issue as the coronavirus pandemic shutdown state economies and forced business closures across the nation.

Though Florida is working to revive its economy while in phase two of its reopening process, about half of the respondents reported they are currently unemployed. When asked if a household member experienced loss of employment income, 3/4 of those surveyed reported yes.

Repondent or household member experienced loss of employment incomeRespondent currently employed
Yes63.46%47.87%
No35.65%51.39%
Did not report0.89%0.64%

In April, Florida’s unemployment rate hit 12.9%, up from 2.8% in February, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Figures for May haven’t yet been released. The unemployment report shows the latest figures as millions of Floridians are battling the state’s unemployment system for benefits.

[Make Ends Meet: Furloughed Disney employee, single mother says she hasn’t received benefits payment since April]

Even though there is no hard deadline for the end of the pandemic or the next phase of Florida’s reopening process, census data shows there’s a downward trend when it comes to the expected loss of employment income. The metric a sign that Floridians are feeling hopeful that they won’t lose the jobs they’ve regained or expect to be unemployed anytime soon.

The Census Bureau has been surveying millions of Floridians to get a gauge on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting communities. (Census Bureau)
The Census Bureau has been surveying millions of Floridians to get a gauge on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting communities. (Census Bureau) (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

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