ERASE Cohort Member Releases Report Revealing Evictions’ Disparate Impact on Black, Latino, and Female-Headed Households in Connecticut

The Connecticut Fair Housing Center and CT Data Collaborative released a report, “Exposing Connecticut’s Eviction Crisis: Understanding the Intersection of Race and Sex in Connecticut’s Eviction Crisis.” The report, which includes an interactive map, analyzes eviction court filings for five years (2017 to 2021) to generate a better understanding of Connecticut’s eviction crisis. The Connecticut Fair Housing Center is a member of NLIHC’s ERASE (End Rental Arrears to Stop Evictions) project cohort.

The ERASE project is NLIHC’s national effort to ensure that the $46.5 billion in historic aid enacted by Congress reaches the lowest-income and most marginalized renters. NLIHC’s ERASE Cohort is made up of state and local housing partners that meet biweekly to advance strategies, policies, and legislation that accelerate equitable distribution of emergency rental assistance (ERA) funds​, promote tenant protections, and prevent evictions.

The report shows that between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2021, Connecticut landlords filed a total of 75,429 eviction cases. The report also highlights the following key findings:

  • Landlords filed eviction cases against Black and Latino renters at the highest rates.
  • Black renters were over three times more likely than white renters to face eviction, and Latino renters were over two times more likely than white renters to face eviction.
  • Eviction cases were disproportionately filed against women (56%), and even more disproportionately against Black and Latina women (62% and 59%, respectively).
  • Tenants without legal representation were nearly twice as likely to have a removal order issued against them.
  • Approximately half of all eviction cases were filed in five municipalities: Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Haven, and New Britain.

The annual number of evictions cases in Connecticut was 67% lower in 2020 than pre-pandemic averages, and 53% lower in 2021. This decrease was likely due to the CDC’s federal eviction moratorium and Connecticut’s statewide eviction moratorium, which were put in place in 2020, as well as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s emergency rental assistance program, which paid the rental arrears for tenants impacted by the pandemic. However, after the eviction moratoriums expired and Connecticut’s ERA program, UniteCT, exhausted all its ERA funding, the number of eviction cases in Connecticut began to approach pre-pandemic levels.

The decrease in eviction cases in Connecticut between 2020 and 2021 demonstrates the importance of tenant protections, like the federal and state eviction moratoriums, and rental assistance in keeping the lowest-income and most marginalized renters stably housed during the pandemic. The increase in eviction filings in 2022 reflects the gap in support left by expiring tenant protections and limited government financial assistance for struggling renters. With evictions in Connecticut disproportionately harming renters of color, the report concludes that eviction is a racial justice issue that exacerbates discrimination and segregation across the state.

NLIHC will continue to support and share the work of the ERASE Cohort, highlighting research, strategies, and best practices that advance the efficient and equitable distribution of rental assistance and prevent evictions for the lowest-income and most marginalized renters.

To learn more about the work of the ERASE Cohort, visit NLIHC’s ERASE webpage.