Eviction or foreclosure is a top concern of households identified as ALICE—an acronym for asset limited, income constrained, employed—during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the Rappahannock United Way.
ALICE households have income above the federal poverty level but are still unable to cover the basics of housing, child care, food, transportation, healthcare, and technology. Eighty-four percent of such households that reported difficulty paying housing costs said they fear eviction or foreclosure.
Households above the ALICE threshold with housing cost concerns were significantly less likely to report fear of eviction or foreclosure, the survey found.
The United Way conducted the survey of households in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline and King George counties between Jan. 25 and Feb. 12. There were more than 1,100 respondents, the organization reported Tuesday.
Though contracting the virus was the biggest concern of the majority of households, those below the ALICE threshold were significantly more likely than those above to say they were concerned about paying housing expenses, child care, paying off debts, providing enough food for the household, reduction of hours and loss of one or more jobs.
Households above the ALICE Threshold were significantly more likely to say that they were concerned about household members contracting COVID-19.
ALICE households were also significantly more likely to say they were concerned about the cost of childcare and less likely to say they were concerned about juggling work and childcare; more likely to report mental or physical disabilities and trouble meeting healthcare needs; more likely to report trouble meeting transportation and technology needs; and less likely to report someone in the house working remotely.
Households above and below the ALICE threshold also took different actions to meet their needs.
Respondents below the ALICE threshold were significantly more likely than respondents above to say that they had taken money out of savings, applied for unemployment, received food from a food bank or food pantry, applied for government assistance, borrowed from family or friends, increased a credit card balance, sold belongings for cash or found a new way to make money.
The United Way reported that requests for financial assistance have more than tripled since the start of the pandemic.
Those interested in assisting the local ALICE population can contact the United Way’s chief impact officer, Sarah Walsh, at email@example.com.
Adele Uphaus–Conner: 540/735-1973