The eviction crisis has begun. It will get so much worse.

September 23, 2020

It’s a moment of extraordinary tension in housing policy in the United States. On the one hand, 1 in 4 U.S. households has experienced job loss or a decline in income — with distress especially concentrated among Black and Latino families (who are also much less likely than White families to own their homes). More than a quarter of renters told the U.S. Census Bureau in August that they didn’t think they could make rent in September.

But eviction filings have been largely held in check — except for that 10-day window between federal eviction protections and the CDC moratorium. Between March 15 and Sept. 20, 50,629 new eviction cases have been filed in the 17 cities we’re tracking. That’s too many people facing eviction, but it’s well below the comparable averages in recent years, over the same span. Given the limits of our sample, we can’t say whether that data reflects national trends, but it appears that policy supports have largely kept families housed.

First, the eviction moratoriums made a difference. The Cares Act temporarily blocked evictions for certain properties, and 43 states had at least some additional protections for tenants at some point.

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