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Eviction rates in every state

  • Eviction rates in every state

    Evictions are devastating. They are caused by poverty—and cause more poverty—but they do much more extensive and lasting damage.

    Research has found families in Texas evicted for owing little more than $500 in unpaid rent and families in North Carolina owing about $300. Tenants being evicted are less likely to be deep in debt and more likely to be less than a month in arrears. In other words, people can be evicted after being jolted by the unexpected cost of a car repair or a doctor’s bill.

    People who are evicted often lose their possessions, and sometimes their jobs. Evictions are linked to health problems, mental health issues, and depression. Children who are forced to move miss school and fall behind. Neighborhoods with high eviction rates have high rates of crime. People who have evictions on their record encounter trouble trying to rent again. Taxpayers foot the bills for publicly subsidized housing or homeless shelters.

    Evictions are mostly rooted in the widening gap between low-income wages that have stagnated and housing costs that have skyrocketed. One Harvard study said the number of rental units costing less than $600 a month dropped by 4 million in the United States between 1990 and 2017.

    A bill called the Eviction Crisis Act has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Democrat Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio to provide emergency funding to tenants facing eviction. It would also establish a nationwide database to track eviction cases. Other proposals in Congress would help fund landlord-tenant mediation and “right to counsel” programs to provide tenants with legal representation.

    During the coronavirus crisis, tenants who lived in rental properties with federal-backed mortgages could not be evicted, but only 28% of rental properties nationwide were covered by that moratorium. Most states enacted some suspensions of their own, but none was designed to stem a flood of evictions once the crisis ends, and soaring unemployment leaves renters unable to make ends meet. Tenant advocates fear that the deluge of evictions will be more catastrophic than the loss of housing in the 2008–2009 recession.

    To examine eviction rates in every state, Stacker used data compiled by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University (more information can be found at Evictionlab.org). The Eviction Lab compiled the data by requesting eviction case records from courts and online portals, cleaning the records, and standardizing across states. The “eviction rate” refers to the rate of renters who received an eviction judgment from the court and were ordered to leave, while the “eviction filing rate” refers to the rate of eviction requests filed by landlords. The denominator used in these rates is the total number of renting households in a state, taken from the census. The most recent eviction data available is from 2016.

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  • Alabama

    - Eviction rate: 1.8% (#16 lowest rate, 11,213 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 3.9% (#23 lowest rate, 24,294 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 616,428 (31.3% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $717
    - Average rent burden: 30.5%
    - Poverty rate: 14.5%

    In the city of Decatur, the eviction rate was double the state rate in 2019, and someone was being evicted nearly every other day. The northern Alabama city’s poverty rate was also higher than the rest of the state. More recently, evictions in some parts of the state have continued during the pandemic, although tenant advocacy groups like Alabama Appleseed have called for a moratorium.

  • Alaska

    - Eviction rate: Not available
    - Eviction filing rate: 2.0% (#12 lowest rate, 2,064 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 104,905 (36.6% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,146
    - Average rent burden: 28.2%
    - Poverty rate: 7.0%

    In Alaska, evictions have always been a risk in cities like Anchorage, which is some 25% more expensive than other U.S. cities on average. Statewide, eviction proceedings were barred during the coronavirus crisis. The state announced a program to distribute one-time payments of up to $1,200, distributed by lottery, to residents struggling to pay housing costs due to the pandemic. Designed to avert homelessness, the program requires applicants to show how much income they have lost due to COVID-19.

  • Arizona

    - Eviction rate: 3.9% (#9 highest rate, 8,339 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 5.7% (#18 highest rate, 12,132 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 212,626 (37.2% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $913
    - Average rent burden: 30.1%
    - Poverty rate: 13.3%

    Tenants being evicted in Arizona have often been at a disadvantage in court. A study of evictions in Maricopa County, which includes metropolitan Phoenix, found that from 2018 to 2019 only two tenants out of more than 1,000 eviction cases had a lawyer. In the pandemic, no tenants can be evicted through July if they have a COVID-19-related hardship documented in writing, but court hearings were not suspended.

     

  • Arkansas

    - Eviction rate: Not available
    - Eviction filing rate: 0.7% (#4 lowest rate, 2,963 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 422,136 (33.9% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $677
    - Average rent burden: 29.5%
    - Poverty rate: 14.3%

    Arkansas has had a low eviction filing rate compared with other states. It is one of just a handful of states that made no move to suspend evictions during the pandemic. The governor said he wanted landlords and tenants to work together to resolve their issues, and that most recent evictions actions were unrelated to the public health crisis.

  • California

    - Eviction rate: 0.8% (#7 lowest rate, 41,178 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 1.0% (#6 lowest rate, 47,079 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 4.9 million (45.7% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,255
    - Average rent burden: 33.7%
    - Poverty rate: 12.2%

    The governor of California has extended the state’s eviction moratorium through late July. To qualify, tenants must prove their financial hardship is related to COVID-19. They also cannot have been behind in rent as of late March.

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  • Colorado

    - Eviction rate: 2.8% (#21 highest rate, 18,195 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 5.5% (#19 highest rate, 36,240 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 661,532 (35.7% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,002
    - Average rent burden: 30.6%
    - Poverty rate: 8.5%

    Rising rents and housing prices have been forcing Colorado’s eviction rate higher in recent years. In Aurora, just east of Denver, the eviction filing rate has been more than twice as high as the rest of the state. The governor implemented a temporary ban on evictions and late fees during the COVID-19 crisis. One advocacy group predicted that about 350,000 state residents will be vulnerable to eviction this year, based on income, rent, and unemployment data.

  • Connecticut

    - Eviction rate: 3.0% (#17 highest rate, 13,760 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 3.9% (#22 lowest rate, 17,470 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 452,973 (33.0% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,075
    - Average rent burden: 31.7%
    - Poverty rate: 7.6%

    Historically, four of Connecticut’s cities (Waterbury, Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven) ranked among the 100 cities in the country with the highest eviction rates. Connecticut is one of only two states, along with New Hampshire, where its COVID-19 moratorium on evictions froze every step in the process, from giving notice to a tenant to taking the case before a judge. The state also has a grace period giving tenants time to pay their back rent after the moratorium expires, and landlords are not allowed to report unpaid debts to credit bureaus.

  • Delaware

    - Eviction rate: 5.1% (#3 highest rate, 5,468 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 16.2% (#4 highest rate, 17,370 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 107,285 (28.8% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,018
    - Average rent burden: 29.9%
    - Poverty rate: 8.2%

    With one of the highest eviction rates in the country, Delaware’s legal process for ousting tenants is easy and inexpensive for landlords, and the state lacks subsidized, low-income, and affordable housing, advocates say. During the COVID-19 emergency, landlords were not allowed to evict tenants or charge late fees or interest.

  • District of Columbia

    - Eviction rate: 2.6% (#23 highest rate, 4,537 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 15.7% (#5 highest rate, 27,434 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 175,121 (58.8% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,327
    - Average rent burden: 29.5%
    - Poverty rate: 14.3%

    Officials in the District of Columbia last year considered but did not enact a proposal that would have made it more difficult for landlords to reject renters who have previously been evicted. The measure would allow eviction records to be sealed after three years. Supporters of the measure say prior evictions can severely hamper people's ability to find fresh housing. In the Eviction Lab's most recent research from 2016, more than a dozen households were evicted in D.C. each day.

  • Florida

    - Eviction rate: 2.5% (#24 highest rate, 71,615 total evictions in 2016)
    - Eviction filing rate: 4.9% (#22 highest rate, 139,577 total filings in 2016)
    - Renter-occupied households: 2.8 million (34.7% of all households)
    - Median monthly rent: $1,002
    - Average rent burden: 34.4%
    - Poverty rate: 12.0%

    Jacksonville, Pompano Beach, Miramar, and West Palm Beach have had some of the highest eviction rates among U.S. cities, although Florida ranks around the middle overall among all states. The state has a moratorium recently extended to July 1 on residential evictions, but tenants will need to pay their missed rent when it ends. 

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