When Americans are getting evicted from their rental units in large numbers there is an eviction crisis. The government and other philanthropy organizations should take notice.

The Eviction Crisis – Numbers Show The Real Cracks

Eviction Crisis in America - Court Evictions Started /VX/ Court Evictions Finished

“This research uses data from The Eviction Lab at Princeton University, a project directed by Matthew Desmond and designed by Ashley Gromis, Lavar Edmonds, James Hendrickson, Katie Krywokulski, Lillian Leung, and Adam Porton. The Eviction Lab is funded by the JPB, Gates, and Ford Foundations as well as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. More information is found at evictionlab.org.”

The stats around getting evicted in America spell disaster for the families that deal with this problem. You can feel these problems for individuals and families from the stats in just one chart.

  1. 3x More Evictions Started than Finished

    The numbers of evictions filed in court to start an eviction is 3X larger than the actual numbers of people being evicted by the local County Sheriff/Constable.

    This means that most of those people leaving their homes or apartments for eviction are leaving very quickly. Approximately 3-5 days after they get the court ordered eviction notice. Where can you pack-up your whole house or apartment and go that quickly?

    Most families can’t pack-up that fast. They just leave and take their most valuable possessions. Leaving the landlord to clean-up the mess.

  2. Big Dip in 2007

    Notice the big dip in evictions started in 2007? That was right when the real estate and stock markets were at their peak. Real Estate prices were starting to falter in late 2007 in the cities with the highest prices.

    This dip shows that even the landlords didn’t want to start evictions with real estate values tipping a bit. They would rather work-it-out with the tenants and not do a formal eviction process using the courts.

  3. 3% of Finished Evictions in 2007

    Yet, the landlords would actually evict a near 10-year-high percentage in that same year 2007. The eviction crisis was deepening.

    This means that the landlords didn’t stop evicting the serious problem tenants. In fact it appears that they stepped up their real finished evictions.

  4. The Finished Eviction Rate Stays Between 2-3% of All Renters Nationwide

    No matter what the economy does, the real finished evictions where the County Sheriff/Constable shows up seem to be steady at 2-3% nationwide.

    Being semi-independent of the U.S. economy means that there is always a churning of renters that can’t pay rent (#1 reason for being evicted), regardless of the jobless rate. And it doesn’t change much in good job economies or poor job economies.

  5. Higher Eviction Starts in The Housing Boom of 2003-2006

    Thee were significantly higher eviction court filings in the boom of 2003-2006 than we have in the 2014-2016 stock market boom. This means that during the 2003-2006 time period, there were more landlords using the court eviction system as a threat to get more renters to leave. That is a full 1-2% difference nationwide.

  6. The Eviction Start Rate Went UP Faster than the Real Estate Recovered

    The eviction start rate jumped higher in 2010 and 2011. Those were not good years for the real estate market. Prices were still low with plenty of inventory.

    In those years, that jump represented banks evicting more home owners, not tenants. Thus, the tenants being evicted were below that total tally. The court filed evictions would also include banks filing evictions against home owners that were underwater in their mortgages and not paying.

Conclusions On The Eviction Crisis

The data collected by EvictionLab is a little off as to the number of renter evictions /VS/ home owner evictions. As those 2 data sets are lumped together in the millions of county eviction records.

But, overall we can see that the rate of finalized evictions by the County Sheriff/Constable showing up to the door of the renter doesn’t fluxuate wildly. But is steady around 2-3%.

The high price of housing in certain large U.S. cities is a factor, but regardless of prices, the finalized eviction rate is still 2-3%.

Jasmine Allen

Jasmine Allen - 14 year legal assistant. I am passionate about the topic of eviction. I like reading and enjoy taking long strolls with my husband in the park near our home.

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