It’s Women’s History Month and we’re excited to celebrate this month with some promising stories of growing equity in the housing space. Of course, there is still plenty of room for improvement, and we’ll be diving into what we see as possible solutions.
Starting with the positive news: According to a recent LendingTree analysis, single women now own more homes than single men in the United States. The research looked at 2021 US Census data and found single women own roughly 10.7 million homes, compared to 8.1 million homes owned by single men. This is despite being less than 50 years out from the passing of the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act (which made sex-based loan and mortgage discrimination illegal) and despite the US gender pay gap (where as of 2021, women made 82 cents for every dollar that men made).
Though it’s exciting to see advancements in female homeownership, we’re facing a time when the barriers to owning a home are larger than ever. For women who are renters and plan to be for the foreseeable future, there are other challenges at play, including inflation, rising rents, and a looming recession.
These financial challenges are further amplified when we look at single mothers and caregivers, who are solely responsible for their own financial well-being, along with that of their children or dependents. A missed paycheck from something as common as injury or illness can mean falling behind on bills or rent and risking eviction.
According to the US Census Bureau, there were approximately 11 million single-parent families with children under the age of 18 in 2022, and nearly 80% were headed by single mothers (8.66 million households).
Furthermore, single-mother households are the third-most common family group in the US. According to the Census, 9.7% of family group households were led by single mothers.
Those 8.66 million single mothers support more than 15 million children under the age of 18. What can we do to support those who fall behind, especially those facing back rent and eviction?
A holistic approach to renter financial health
Helping renters build their credit (and the long-term financial stability that comes with it) is at the core of what we do with Esusu Rent Reporting. But thinking long-term is only half of the equation.
In instances where renters face financial distress, we offer Esusu Rent Relief, an interest-free, and penalty-free loan paid directly to the property owner or manager to keep the resident in good standing. Because the loans are interest-free and repayable over a 12-month period, residents don’t end up taking on more debt on their road to financial recovery.
We see the combination of this short-term and long-term financial stability as the key to preventing eviction and poverty, especially for those who are single mothers and caretakers. 65% of Esusu Rent Relief disbursements go to women, and more than 76% of those recipients are applying on behalf of households with 2+ residents.
We had the opportunity to sit down with two Esusu renters who accessed our rent relief program. They are both single mothers who were able to make use of the rent relief loans when facing financial hardships.
We’re so proud to serve residents like Chaleene and Brenda, and to partner with properties nationwide to make access to rental support a reality.
Financial resources renters can count on
For residents facing difficulties paying their rent, access to Esusu Rent Relief is available on our website. The resident’s property must be utilizing the Esusu Rent Relief program and referral codes can be provided by the property manager.
We’ve also created a resource of financial and renter tools through the Esusu Renters Marketplace. A great place to start is through our partnership with FindHelp.org. Simply enter your zip code and browse a library of more than 500,000 free, localized resources.