MReport November 2021

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TH E M R EP O RT | 55 O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST GOVERNMENT Freddie Mac: How Has the Pandemic Affected Single Women? Sixty percent of single female heads of households were found to be paying at least 30% of their income on housing; 20% were putting more than half of their income toward housing. B uilding on prior research that the number of single- person households is on the rise, Freddie Mac has conducted additional market research to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the homeownership goals of single female heads-of-households (SFHOH). The survey found that the pan- demic did indeed impact SFHOHs as now 60% of respondents feel that purchasing a home is out of reach for them for the indefinite future. According to Freddie Mac, two- in-five SFHOHs are renters—wom- en of color were found to "more frequently struggle to provide for their household" than their white counterparts. 3-in-5 women were found to be "cost burdened" or pay more than 30% of their monthly in- come on housing; 1-in-5 were found to spend more than 50%. Events over the last two years have also affected the future pros- pects of SFHOH's ability to buy a house. Again, women of color were disproportionally affected, as 75% of women who have dropped out of the workforce have yet to return to work and feel like they will not recover financially from the pan- demic in the next year, if ever. Among renters, 3-in-10 do not ever believe they will be able to buy a house because of their lack of knowledge in the buying process along with the costs that come with buying a house such as down payments and closing fees. "The COVID-19 pandemic has had disparate economic impacts nationwide, particularly on women who are heads of their households, such as single moms and caretakers," said Pam Perry, Single-Family VP of Equitable Housing. "In this survey, we dis- covered this population's housing and financial challenges have been further complicated by pandemic- related workplace disruptions and current economic conditions. While the survey showed some feel confident in their knowledge of finances and building credit, many lack confidence in the pos- sibility of homeownership." Among the other datasets of the survey, it found that the basic demographics of a SFHOH are a previously-married woman with some college education and has both a job and a house. She is also likely to be a baby boomer (41% of respondents) over Generation X (22%) or a millennial (22%). It also found that half of SFHOHs live with someone else and one-in-six live with children. The survey was conducted online from April 14-23, 2021, and collected a total of 2,000 responses. "While the survey showed some feel confident in their knowledge of finances and building credit, many lack confidence in the possibility of homeownership." —Pam Perry, Single-Family VP of Equitable Housing, Freddie Mac

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