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The rent’s just too high.
It’s no secret the coronavirus and subsequent spike of unemployment has many hard up. Losing your job is hard in the best of times, losing your job when businesses are shuttered and competition is high for the remaining jobs can feel impossible.
Even workers who haven’t lost their jobs may be dealing with pay cuts and other ramifications of slow business.
Congress’ stimulus package is trying to assist the suffering, with expanded unemployment benefits and a $1,200 check. However, the stimulus money isn’t adjusted for cost of living. That check may go pretty far in rural areas, but in many big cities $1,200 leaves you writing an awkward IOU for your half of the rent.
While home owners can apply for mortgage extensions, renters are more vulnerable and at the mercy of their landlords. Even in states and cities where evictions have been frozen, that only puts off the hurt for renters who will be expected to pay months of rent all at once.
We set out to highlight the cities where the stimulus check will go the furthest, and where it won’t even cover one month’s rent.
Summary Of Findings
- The city with the highest rent is Sunnyvale, California with a median rent of $2,580– more than double the stimulus check. The city has above average salaries. However, for laid off workers faced with unemployment caps, their formerly high salaries may not be much help.
- 8 of the 10 cities with the highest rents are in California
- In 45% of majors cities, the check doesn’t even cover one month’s rent
- Not a single city has cheap enough rent for the check to cover two months of rent
- The check will cover the most rent in Cleveland, Ohio, where the median rent is only $706
- Where is this going the furthest? The Midwest and south
- 4 of the cities with the cheapest rent are in Ohio
The Cities Where The Stimulus Check Covers The Least Amount Of Rent
- Sunnyvale California
- Irvine, California
- Fremont, California
- San Jose, California
- Bellevue, Washington
- Huntington Beach, California
- Arlington, Virginia
- Santa Clarita, California
- Hayward, California
- San Francisco, California
While everyone is hurting from the coronavirus, workers in these 10 cities will be helped the least by the stimulus check. Of course, since high cost of living goes hand in hand with higher salaries, many may not even qualify.
How We Determined The Cities where The Stimulus Check Helps The Least
This one was pretty simple. We got median rent for 135 major cities from the most recent American Community Survey. We then determined how much the median rent would be covered by the $1,200 stimulus check.
Of course, rent is just one bill. We didn’t calculate utilities, car payments, or insurance. Many will be trying to stretch the check across as many bills as they can. However, rent is the highest bill most people pay and a good measure of just how much of an impact the check will have in different cities.
Closing Thoughts On Cities Where The Stimulus Check Won’t Cover The Rent
In some cities, the stimulus check simply doesn’t do much to cover basic necessities. In high cost of living areas such as California, the check won’t even cover even cover one month’s rent.
Of course, since receiving the check is based on income and income is correlated with cost-of-living, many in high costs of living areas may not even qualify to begin with.
This is all well and good, for high earners who have kept their job. High earners who are newly unemployed won’t qualify either. Instead, they will be reliant on the stimulus’ unemployment benefits and subject to state caps.
You can see where you city ended up below:
Cities Where The Stimulus Check Covers The Most- And Least- Of One Month’s Average Rent
|City||Median Rent||% Of Rent Covered|
|San Jose California||2,161||55.53%|
|Santa Clarita, California||1,900||63.16%|
|San Francisco, California||1,880||63.83%|
|El Grove, California||1,707||70.30%|
|San Diego, California||1,698||70.67%|
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