CHECK: Are evictions returning to pre-pandemic levels?

After the moratorium ended last fall, fears that evictions would reach pre-pandemic levels were widespread.

PHOENIX — The eviction moratorium has brought relief to some struggling people during the pandemic. While some people were out of work, it kept a roof over their heads.

However, after the moratorium ended last fall, fears that evictions would reach pre-pandemic levels were widespread.

THE QUESTION:

Have evictions returned to pre-pandemic levels?

THE SOURCES:

  • Katie Gentry with the Maricopa Government Association
  • Eviction data provided by Maricopa County

THE ANSWER:

FALSE, the number of evictions is still lower than the figures observed in 2019.

WHAT WE FOUND:

“The whole tsunami of evictions that we thought were going to happen after the moratorium ended, we didn’t see.” said Katie Gentry.

Instead, we’ve seen a steady increase. Compared to the same months in 2019, December saw around 1,500 fewer evictions, January saw 1,000 fewer and in February that number fell to around 700 fewer evictions.

“We see this climbing to the pre-pandemic level.” Gentry said.

So why have the number of evictions remained lower even though the ban on evictions has ended?

Gentry said rent assistance and people returning to work have helped, but some landowners are looking to different avenues. Gentry said tenants moving out of homes due to rising prices may not be considered an eviction but may have the same effect.

“These non-traditional evictions. Your lease is ending and we are not going to renew your lease,” Gentry said.

How big is Maricopa County? :

Maricopa County is the 4and largest county by population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 census.

The county contains approximately 63% of Arizona’s population and covers 9,224 square miles. This makes the county larger than seven US states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire).

One of the nation’s largest park systems is also located in Maricopa County. The county has approximately 120,000 acres of open space parks that include hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the 5and most populous city in the United States.

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American tribe.

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About Geraldine Higgins

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