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Reproduced from National Multifamily Housing Council; Chart: Axios Visuals

While headlines caution that 6 million people fell behind on their rent or mortgages last month, that number includes many who are supported by government forbearance programs, meaning they face no penalty for missing payments.

Zoom in: The Mortgage Bankers Association found that 3.4 million mortgage payments were missed in September, but the group's own data also show 3.4 million homeowners were enrolled in federal forbearance programs that month.

  • Data from the National Multifamily Housing Council show that 94.6% of Americans paid their rent by month-end in September, nearly identical to the 95.5% who did so in September 2019, and October rent payments are tracking at similar levels to 2019 as well.
  • Data on lower-income rental units show lower payment rates, but at numbers that are broadly in line with 2019, MBA's Fratantoni tells Axios.

"It’s surprising to the extent that six months ago I would’ve expected to see much more distress, particularly on the rental side," Fratantoni says.

Go deeper: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet)

Go deeper

Guaranteed income programs are proliferating

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Cities around the country are starting up guaranteed income programs, which pay low-income residents around $300–$600 a month to help improve their lives.

Why it matters: If successful, backers hope these experiments — which bring the idea of guaranteed basic income from the progressive drawing board to reality — could set the stage for a day when unconditional cash stipends are a ubiquitous national safety net.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 21, 2021 - Economy & Business

A third of all small business owners say they can't pay rent

Data: Alignable; Chart: Axios Visuals

Nearly half (49%) of all minority small business owners and a third (33%) of all small business owners were unable to pay their rent this month, according to the latest survey from Alignable. 35% of women-owned businesses reported an inability to pay rent as well.

Between the lines: For the first time in the survey's history, at least 40% of respondents in 10 business categories said they couldn't afford to pay their rent.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."