35% of Americans Could Lose Their Home in Next Two Months, Census Report Says

Over one-third of American adults could face eviction or home foreclosure amid the COVID-19 pandemic during the next two months, according to new data from a U.S. Census Bureau survey.

The latest data from the Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey, taken between November 25 and December 7, found that 35.3 percent of U.S. adults are "living in households not current on rent or mortgage where eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is either very likely or somewhat likely."

The survey found that residents of Washington, D.C. are the most likely to face eviction or foreclosure, with 67.3 percent of adults living in households where the prospect is at least somewhat likely. States with a majority of adults also likely to lose their homes include South Dakota, South Carolina, Georgia and Oregon.

A potential housing crisis sparked by a massive wave of evictions has been a topic of concern for many in the U.S. recently. A federal moratorium on evictions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to expire on December 31 despite no signs that the pandemic, or its devastating economic impact, will be ending anytime soon.

Eviction and Foreclosure Census Survey
While COVID-19 continues to quickly spread throughout the U.S., a federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire on December 31, 2020. tap10/Getty

Congress has continued to engage in often partisan disagreements that have scuttled efforts to pass new COVID-19 relief legislation. With a significant share of the population unemployed, a key point of contention that could impact potential evictions or foreclosures is how long to supply any weekly unemployment aid payments.

The new Census survey data finds that 31 percent of American adults "expect someone in their household to have a loss in employment income in the next 4 weeks." Around 12 million will lose their current unemployment benefits when they expire at the end of the year, according to The Washington Post.

Other roadblocks to passing the first stimulus package since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump almost nine months ago include disagreements on a fresh round of direct economic impact payments. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and others are blocking efforts towards another $1,200 payment, insisting that the amount is too generous.

The Census Bureau describes the Household Pulse Survey as an "experimental" effort for it and other federal statistics-gathering agencies to "document temporal trends in how individuals are experiencing business curtailment and closures, stay-at-home orders, school closures, changes in the availability of consumer goods and consumer patterns, and other abrupt and significant changes to American life" amid the pandemic.

Data collection for the survey began on April 23 and will continue at least through Monday. Unlike some other surveys conducted by the Census Bureau, data from the Household Pulse Survey is released quickly, occurring on a biweekly schedule during the latest of three phases.

Newsweek reached out to the Census Bureau for comment.