Data Snapshot: Nearly Half of Renters in the United States Felt Pressured to Leave Their Homes in the Past Six Months

January 30, 2024

The Census Bureau recently added a new question to the Household Pulse Survey, providing a first look at the prevalence of and reasons for involuntary moves among US households. The National Equity Atlas has incorporated this new data into our Rent Debt Dashboard to capture another dimension of housing insecurity facing renters across the nation.

Landlords use a variety of tactics to pressure tenants to move. Aside from filing official eviction notices, landlords might tell tenants that they are going to evict them or tell them to leave, refuse to make repairs, change locks, shut off utilities, or raise rent.

In June 2023, the Census Bureau added a new question to the Household Pulse Survey asking renters if they felt pressured to move within the past six months and why they felt pressured to move. The survey also asked respondents if they did move as a result of that pressure. According to the latest data from October 2023, 45 percent of renter households reported feeling pressured to move in the last six months. In particular, renter households in the South and Southwest regions reported higher rates of experiencing pressure to move and the highest rates of leaving their homes as a result. Nearly half of renters in eight of the largest metro areas in the country reported feeling pressured by landlords to move within the last six months. The Miami metro area reported the highest rates of move pressure, with three in five renters reporting feeling pressured to move and nearly one in four leaving their homes as a result. Among households surveyed, the most commonly shared reasons for feeling pressured to move were the landlord increasing rent and the landlord refusing to make repairs.

As pandemic-era protections for renters have rolled back and homeownership opportunities remain historically low due to fewer affordable homes available and low affordability rates, it is critical to ensure renter protections and benefits are available for tenant housing stability. The strategies featured in the PolicyLink Housing Anti-Displacement toolkit offer ways to advance tenant housing stability by expanding housing opportunities and preventing displacement of low-income communities of color.

Learn More: Find data on the rate of forced moves among renters in your state or region on the National Equity Atlas Rent Debt Dashboard.