We are still in a pandemic. But many of us are not acting like it. I, myself, have been traveling to Mexico, Maine, Miami Beach Pride, and have other trips coming up soon. No, not as overly gay as Sitges, Greece, Fire Island, or P-town, but still getting around and returning to my home to plan for the next trip. I’ve been, and many of my friends have not been affected by the pandemic as much as other LGBT counterparts.
A recent UCLA study is shedding some light on the fact that many fellow LGBT community members may not be riding out the pandemic as well. It was found that nearly half of the LGBT renters in the United States who are behind on their payments are in fear of not being able to recover and fear the worst as eviction is coming soon.
Some of the first numbers shared in a brief compiled by the Williams Institute at University of California Los Angeles show where LGBT home ownership was during the pandemic.
Which category do you fit in? Are you free and clear? Have a mortgage? Or are you renting? I was lucky enough to have just finished the refinancing process. Of course, a great deal of that process is proving stable income. This may be a hardship for many moving forward out of the pandemic if they will be looking to rent new or even purchase a home.
But there is the scary 2-month time frame that the study has mentioned. With 47% of LGBT renters that are behind on rent fearing eviction within the next two months, what is the resolution? If you cannot afford the current rent, how will you be able to come up with first, last, security that is always needed? I have friends that are just looking to move and have not been affected heavily by the pandemic and they are still feeling the hit of the pile of moving expenses.
It is clear that LGBT POC are feeling the brunt of most of this pandemic when it comes to housing costs and income concerns. More LGBT people of color rent their homes (47%), compared to white LGBT respondents (37%). More LGBT people of color said they feared eviction within the next two months, sitting at 12% comparable difference from white LGBT people.
So if you own a home or have been through the process of purchasing a home and have that lovely mortgage, this is setting you apart of course from the renters. You are also most likely to have a higher income job than individuals that are still renting.
“While owning a home comes with financial risks and challenges, renters are often low-wage workers concentrated in industries likely to be impacted by declining economic activity, are paying increasingly larger shares of their income for housing, are competing over a decreasing stock of affordable units, and must regularly re-secure housing as their leasing contracts expire.”
Not only are there the housing issues, but there is also another factor that feeds into this POC/white variance. Another study back in February showed some alarming facts that LGBT people of color were two times more likely to contract COVID when compared to straight, white counterparts.
What can be done? Should we still push for moratoriums on evictions? Should there be more federal help for renters? With these numbers, should more assistance go toward POC LGBT renters? Would that ever happen?
The pandemic is not over, even though we are all traveling and going back to work and people continue to wear chin diapers on planes. There is no end in sight, but unfortunately for some of us, some ends may be coming in 2 months or less time.