Rent requests higher in states with few protections for renters

April 30, 2020

States with weaker protections for renters have seen greater increases in the number of requests to 2-1-1 for rent assistance since COVID. The Washington Post reported yesterday on a new scorecard from Eviction Lab that rates states from 0-5 on protections for renters. Protections include policies regulating eviction and availability of short- and long-term support for renters. Using their classification, we divided states into those with weaker and stronger protections for renters. Collectively, in states with weaker protections, 2-1-1s received 637 requests per day for rent assistance before COVID and 1,224 requests per day after – an average daily increase of 92%. Requests for rent assistance also increased from pre- to post-COVID in states with stronger protections, but less: 68%, from 495 to 829 requests per day. Pre-COVID dates were January 1 – March 11 and post-COVID-dates were March 12 – April 29, 2020. States with weaker protections for renters were: AL, FL, MD, ME, MO NC, NE, NJ, VA, WY; states with stronger protections were: CT, DE, HI, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, NV, NY, PA, SC, WA, WI.

Contributors: Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Irum Javed, Matthew Kreuter