Eviction Lab Documents Increasing Evictions, Variations across Cities

A recent brief from Eviction Lab, “Preliminary Analysis: Eviction Filing Trends After the CDC Moratorium Expiration,” compares nationwide eviction patterns to pre-pandemic trends. Despite an anticipated wave of evictions following the end of the CDC eviction moratorium, evictions have increased gradually and remain below pre-pandemic levels. Wide variations exist, however, across cities, with some nearly returning to their pre-pandemic eviction levels, while others have not changed significantly since the end of the CDC eviction moratorium. The brief points to various reasons evictions have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels in most cities, including the influx of emergency rental assistance and other COVID-19 income supports that have stabilized households.

This research used eviction filing data from 31 cities and 6 states. Overall, evictions increased modestly since the end of the CDC eviction moratorium. In the three months leading up to the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the CDC moratorium, eviction filings were slightly less than half of what would be expected in a pre-pandemic year. In the months immediately following the end of the moratorium, filings increased to slightly more than 60% of the historical average. Overall, 20.4% more cases were filed in the three months following the moratorium compared to the final three months of the moratorium.

The brief offers reasons why eviction filings remain relatively low compared to historical averages. The Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program may be one factor contributing to fewer filings, particularly as the program has picked up spending in recent months. Many larger programs, such as New York and Texas, however, have started running out of money, which could result in increased eviction filings in the coming months. The report notes that other pandemic income supports, such as stimulus payments, the Child Tax Credit, and expanded unemployment insurance could have allowed households to maintain their rental payments.

Post-moratorium eviction patterns varied widely across cities, with some cities starting to approach their pre-pandemic levels of eviction. These patterns are likely influenced by the strength of tenant protections enacted during the pandemic across these cities. Cities where eviction filings are over 80% of the historical average include Tampa, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Houston, and Las Vegas, none of which have tenant protections. Las Vegas has already surpassed its pre-pandemic average, with nearly 12,000 evictions cases filed between the end of August and the end of November – 126% of the historical average. The five cities with the lowest eviction filings relative to the historical average have all enacted strong tenant protections during the pandemic, including New York City, Richmond, Austin, Boston, and Philadelphia. In these cities, eviction filings were less than 40% of the historical average.

Read the brief at: https://bit.ly/3mcKy4v