More than half of parents of school-age children in rental housing spend at least a few hours each day worrying about their housing situation as a result of the pandemic, according to a new study by The NHP Foundation (NHPF). In more than one-third of the cases, parents worry about housing for “most of the day.”

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The findings are based on answers from 1,000 renters earning less than $75,000 per year, with half of those surveyed earning less than $30,000 a year.

The greatest single worry for the parents is the fear of contracting COVID-19 (41%) followed by affording rent (28%), according to the study by the affordable housing provider.

In other findings:

  • Half of the parents surveyed claim their housing situation was negatively impacted in 2020. About 34% have missed rent payments, up from 12% who missed payments during the previous decade, according to the study.
  • About 56% of the parents are experiencing a “somewhat to very negative financial impact” due to the pandemic. The greatest financial impact has been through a loss of at least some working hours (38%) followed closely by total loss of employment (33%).
  • When asked about resources for maintaining stable housing, help from family and friends ranked highest (60%), and assistance from landlord and management companies ranked second at 28%.
  • Parents were asked about difficulties their children are having due to the pandemic. The No. 1 response was the inability to see friends/family at 43.6%. Nearly a third (31%) cited “difficulty adjusting to social norms” (masks, social distancing), and 26% found difficulty adjusting to remote learning.

NHPF’s “From Financial Crisis to Coronavirus: Rental Housing Vulnerability in a Decade of Economic Turmoil” is the eighth survey in a series. Other surveys have queried college grads, seniors, and millennials about housing affordability, money myths, and retirement. The complete series can be found here.