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Report Calls for National Eviction Database to Better Track Trends

House CutoutPolicymakers need reliable data to develop tools and strategies to effectively combat the nation’s eviction epidemic, according to a report exploring the prevalence and impact of evictions.

The report, which appeared in Evidence Matters in summer 2021, found that current eviction data are often incomplete, incorrect, or difficult to compare across geographic areas. Thus, the authors call for the development of a national eviction database.

“Building a national eviction database that aggregates standardized and reliable local data will significantly improve researchers’ ability to understand trends in eviction rates across time and space,” wrote Dana Goplerud and Craig Pollack, both of Johns Hopkins University.

The aim of the database would be to improve the ability to track and understand eviction trends, allowing policymakers to design more effective policies and tools to prevent eviction.

The authors recognize that many evictions happen outside of the court system; thus, they also explain how surveys at the national and local levels would capture information from renters about their experiences.

NHLP Releases Survey Showing Impact of the End of Eviction Moratorium

Rising eviction cases, more illegal evictions and lockouts, and judges ignoring or inconsistently applying federal and state law are some of the problems a new survey identifies since the end of the federal eviction moratorium.

The survey, from the National Housing Law Project (NHLP), shows that courts and landlords continue to evict tenants despite receiving rental assistance funds and legal protections for tenants.

The findings show that 66 percent of respondents—consisting of legal aid and civil rights attorneys in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—reported increasing eviction cases, and 40 percent reported rising cases of landlords lying in court to evict tenants. Approximately 86 percent of respondents reported landlords collecting rental assistance but proceeding with evictions or simply refusing to apply for funds.

NHLP lays out several recommendations, including:

  • Reform landlord–tenant law to provide basic due process to tenants.
  • Expand tenant access to justice by enacting right to counsel laws.
  • Fix rental assistance programs by requiring lease renewals, non-eviction pledges, and stays on cases until funds are disbursed.
  • Create eviction diversion programs focused on housing stability for tenants.
  • Invest in federal and other affordable housing through the Build Back Better Act.

For more information, visit https://www.nhlp.org/covid/survey.

National Groups Call on HUD to Do More to Prevent Evictions

Nearly 50 affordable housing, tenants’ rights, and civil rights organizations recently called on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to do more to stop the national eviction crisis.

This latest call from the groups comes as HUD’s Interim Final Rule, Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Nonpayment of Rent, goes into affect. The rule aims to increase access to federal emergency rental assistance but does not provide the resources HUD tenants need to receive the funds.

View the groups’ letter here.