As the federal eviction moratorium edges toward its July 31 expiration, nearly a fifth of metro Atlanta renters are behind on rent. Those with arrears owe an average of $3,891, according to a New York Times analysis.

Of the 11-county metro Atlanta region, Clayton County has the highest proportion of renters owing back rent, with 25.4 percent behind on monthly payments. Renters there who owe their landlords checks are behind by an average of $3,433, per the report.

The report also revealed that more than 17 percent of renters in Fulton County, which includes most of the City of Atlanta, are past due on rent payments, owing an average of $4,200. 

Suburban counties Cobb, Fayette and Gwinnett have the highest amount in rent owed, with renters behind by an average of $4,229, $4,836 and $4,236, respectively. 

When the residential eviction moratorium enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lapses on Saturday, upwards of 150,000 Georgians could be at risk of displacement, housing experts estimate.

Federally funded eviction prevention efforts abound nationwide, although billions of those rental assistance dollars remain unspent, according to The Washington Post

In Atlanta, for instance, the emergency housing assistance program — supported by federal money and administered by United Way of Greater Atlanta — still has roughly $6 million to distribute to households in need, United Way spokesman Chad Parker told Atlanta Civic Circle.

On Thursday, President Biden called on Congress to extend for another month, although there’s no guarantee federal lawmakers will approve such a measure, according to The New York Times.

Last year, during the early months of the pandemic, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order barring federally supported housing units and developments from evicting tenants. 

Atlanta Civic Circle reached out to Bottoms’ team to see if she’ll do the same once the federal eviction ban lapses, and this story will be updated as a response is provided.

CountyShare of renters behind on rentAverage owed in rent
Data: The New York Times, via Surgo Ventures

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