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By Location Alaska Albuquerque Allentown Amsterdam Anaheim Anchorage Ann Arbor Atlanta Austin Baton Rouge Bend Binghamton Boston Boulder Canada Cardiff Charlotte Chatsworth Chicago Chippenham Cleveland Columbia SC Columbus Dallas Denver Des Moines Detroit Edmonton Eugene Fayetteville Fort McMurray Fredericton Gainesville Glendale Great Falls Greensboro Harbor City Harrisburg Hawaii Hawthorne Hollywood Honolulu houston Ithaca Kalkaska Kelowna Koreatown Las Vegas Lima London London (Canada) Los Angeles Louisville Manchester Miami Minneapolis/St Paul Montreal Nashville New Orleans New York City Nickelsville Norway Oakland Ocala Oslo Ottawa Oxford Paradise Pasadena Peru Philadelphia Phoenix Pine Ridge Pittsburgh Portland Reseda Sacramento Salt Lake City San Diego San Francisco San Jose San Luis Obispo Santa Monica Saskatoon Seattle Shawnee Skid Row Springfield St John's St Louis St. Petersburg Syracuse Tacoma Tampa Toronto Traverse City Tulsa United Kingdom Vancouver Venice Beach Vermont Victoria Wales Washington DC Wentzville Westwood Wichita Wilmington Winnipeg Yellowknife By topic Addiction Advocacy Affordable housing Art and Music Awareness Charity Cold Weather College Students Community Involvement Coronavirus Couch Surfing Couple Criminalization Data Disabled Divorce Domestic violence Drug testing Education Employment Eviction Ex-convict Faith based Families Family conflict Female Financial crisis Foster care Harm reduction Health care HIV/AIDS Homeless count Homeless deaths Hostels (UK shelters) Hotels Housing First HUD Human trafficking Identification Incarceration Indigenous Invisible People Invisible Stories Job loss K2/Spice (Synthetic Marijuana) LGBT Libraries Lived Experience Male Mental illness Mobile Homeless Natural disasters NIMBY Outreach Panhandling Peer Support Pets Poverty Pregnant PTSD Public Feeding Racism Recycling Relationships Research Rural Schools Seniors Sex Offenders Sex Worker Shelters Single Parent Social Media Social Security Socks Solutions Street Soccer Survival sex System Failure Systems Change Technology Tent Cities Tiny Homes Transgender Travelers Veteran Vietnam Veteran Violence Waiting list Welfare Working poor Youth EVENTS @home contests PBS road trip road trip 2009 road trip 2010 road trip 2011 road trip 2013 to fight youth homelessness sober birthday campaign SXSW TEDx INTERVIEWS Learn More Canadian Homelessness Coronavirus and Homelessness Criminalization of Homelessness Family Homelessness Homeless Seniors Homeless Veterans Homeless Youth Homelessness Mobile Homelessness Panhandling Tent Encampments U.K. Homelessness MISCELLANEOUS 360 video Awards Cause Marketing Dream Center Gates Foundation Google Glass Media Patreon Tribute World Trade Center YouTube More Updates

Eviction Filings in Post-Pandemic America Are Every Bit as Bad as You Expected

Eviction notice

There was much ado about the pending storm of evictions back in 2020, but now that it has arrived, the media is decidedly quieter.

In a recent, somewhat disheartening Twitter post, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition Diane Yentel announced that as tenant protections are expiring and funds for emergency rental assistance are drying up, post-pandemic evictions are happening again all over the country. In some regions, they are even surpassing historical averages.

It’s not all bad news. Millions of renters have been spared the harrowing prospect of entering homelessness through the door of eviction. However, this new data marks a disturbing trend that could be dangerous if left unchecked. Here’s a look at evictions by the numbers.

19 Cities Have Already Reached or Surpassed Pre-Pandemic Eviction Average Rates and By Astronomical Percentages

According to the most recent Eviction Lab data, which reflects averages from February 27 through March 26, 2022, 19 cities have already reached or surpassed pre-pandemic eviction average rates. Some notable cities include:

  • Houston, Texas – surpassed pre-pandemic levels by 70%
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut – now boasts a rate 61% higher than before the pandemic
  • Austin, Texas – 60% above national pre-pandemic averages and growing

There’s much to be learned from a quick review of these charts regarding renter strategies and homelessness reduction. The numbers speak volumes about the landlords’ ability to immediately revert to eviction as the primary source of dealing with tenant delinquency so long as the law allows.

When comparing and contrasting 2021 data against the numbers now available for 2022, we see a clear division pattern that happens at the renters’ expense almost immediately after protections ended.

Emergency Rental Assistance has Aided and Abetted Approximately 3.7 Million Renter Households

In February of 2022, PEW Research Center reported that approximately 2.47 million renter households were given about $12.6 billion in emergency assistance. Even more optimistically, Diane Yentel proclaimed on Twitter that as of March 31, 2022, that number is up to 3.7 million.

You really can’t go wrong when sparing millions of families from the insufferable weight of eviction. Even if said eviction doesn’t immediately lead to homelessness, the mark of eviction can follow a renter around for decades, creating a lifetime of obstacles in securing stable housing.

In some circumstances where children are named defendants in eviction cases, the crippling poverty can become generational, a vicious cycle difficult to escape.

As the Public Rallied Around At-Risk Renters, 130 New Protections Were Put in Place Staving Off What Could Have Been a Massive Eviction Crisis Involving as Many as 12 Million Renters

In December of 2020, news of a pending “tidal wave of evictions” made headlines in The Independent and all across the nation. Officials said then that if the government didn’t enact measures immediately, a jaw-dropping 12 million renters would owe more than $6,000 in back rent and fees.

The public’s response to this crushing news caused the federal government to implement policies like never before. The government put 130 new renter protections in place in a sweeping move. This included a nationwide eviction moratorium that saved millions of families from winding up on the streets or in the overcrowded shelter system.

Sadly, Many of These Provisions Were Temporary

As much of a silver lining as there is in saving millions of families and individuals from the looming threat of eviction and the subsequent possibility of homelessness, that lining fades once its temporary nature is exposed.

Much like what happened the year before the Great Steel Strike of 1919, hard-working Americans are finding out that these so-called protections were temporary. Corporate landlords fully expect everything to go back to normal. By normal, they mean red-letter door notices. Families will again be thrown out on the streets with their belongings situated behind locked doors. The justice system that heavily favors landlords over renters will resume. The right to evict and raise rental prices at a pace not in line with the current stagnant American wage will prevail.

Speak Up Now, To Avoid Falling Back into the Same Impoverished Pattern

If the pandemic has taught us nothing else, we have certainly learned that public opinion is a powerful weapon in shaping political policy. Now that the numbers are in, it’s clear that both rents and evictions are skyrocketing while federal aid is running out and those previous temporary provisions are halted.

The time to speak up is the present. Failure to do so could mean reverting back to the same impoverished pattern that created a crisis of homelessness involving more than half a million people experiencing its horrors firsthand.

Please alert your legislators of this unsettling shift toward more eviction and the possibility of more homelessness. Remind them that we need policies that prioritize public interest over corporate greed and that renter protections and housing opportunities should be moving in a more permanent direction.


Cynthia Griffith

Cynthia Griffith

     

Cynthia Griffith is a freelance writer dedicated to social justice and environmental issues.

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