Pulse Data Shows Decrease in Housing Insecurity in Nevada

Recent Months show Nevada Housing Insecurity May Be Easing

Analysis of the experimental Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data indicates some easing of the high levels of housing insecurity experienced by Nevadans during the coronavirus pandemic.

In January and early February, 19 percent of households paying rent (approximately 90,000 Nevada households), were estimated to be behind on their rent payments. By late April and May, only 13 percent (about 60,000 households) were behind on rent payments. For households with a mortgage a similar decreasing trend was observed. In the January to early February period, about 12 percent of households with mortgages (about 50,000 households), were behind on mortgage payments. By late April and May, only 7 percent (approximately 30,000 households) said they were behind on mortgage payments. 

This improvement could be because of better employment opportunities, as well as success with renter and mortgage assistance programs. Nevada’s unemployment rate decreased from 8.5 percent to 7.8 percent (preliminary) from January to May. As late as October the unemployment rate was quite a bit higher at 12.0 percent. As unemployment rates came down and employment increased, more households may have been able to catch up with their payments. Also, by May the Emergency Rental Assistance programs were beginning to gain some momentum with 160,000 households assisted nationwide during that month, according to the U.S. Treasury. This was 60% more households than were assisted in April.

For households that were behind on rent or mortgage payments, an additional question was asked about how likely eviction or foreclosure would be in the next two months. There was an improving trend for both groups. In the most recent time period, only about 5,000 of the roughly 30,000 owner households behind on mortgage payments felt foreclosure was very or somewhat likely in the next two months, while there were about 34,000 renter households of the roughly 60,000 behind on rent who felt it was somewhat or very likely they would be evicted in the next two months.

Methodology Note: The U.S. Census Bureau joined with other federal agencies to produce and publish the experimental Household Pulse Survey data in order to rapidly produce data that records the experience of households during the coronavirus pandemic. Each “pulse” is sent out over a two-week period. The Public Use Files data from nine of these pulses was combined into three six-week periods to increase reliability of the estimates. The three time periods compared were Jan 6th to February 15th, February 17th to March 29th, and April 14th to May 24th. 

Source of the data is author analysis of the January 6, 2021 to May 26, 2021 Public Use Files of the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, Local Area Unemployment Data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Treasury Report “Key Findings from Program Interim Report.” https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/2021-07-02-ERA-Data-Blog-Post-vF.pdf