The Cost of Eviction and Unpaid Bills of Financially Insecure Families for City Budgets
The financial health of cities depends on financially secure residents. Families with even a small amount of readily available savings are less likely to be evicted, miss a housing or utility payment, or receive public benefits when income disruptions occur. We assess the cost that each of 10 cities incurs when financially insecure residents (those with less than $2,000 in savings) are evicted or cannot pay their property taxes or utility bills. Across these cities, the costs range from the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars, suggesting that cities have an economic interest in improving their residents’ financial health.
Data on residents’ credit health can support cities’ efforts to tailor interventions designed to improve residents’ financial well-being and savings. Delinquent debt, credit scores, and credit use provide valuable information about residents’ financial distress, overall financial health, and access to credit.