Is an eviction crisis brewing?

SEATTLE – Dec. 20, 2016 – An estimated 2.7 million people were evicted from rental units in 2015. And one real estate brokerage says it may partially be due to the high costs of real estate.

Redfin’s research team scoured eviction data and they believe that higher costs are fostering an environment of greater evictions.

Rents are skyrocketing across the country and jumped 66 percent since 2000. Household incomes, on the other hand, have risen only by 35 percent in that timeframe. More than 20 million renters in 2015 – half of all renters in the country – were considered “cost burdened,” meaning they spent at least 30 percent of their income on rent.

The 15 metros with the largest increases in the portion of income spent on rent from 2011 to 2014 saw a 3.8 percent increase in the number of evicted families from 2013 to 2014, according to Redfin’s analysis. The other 56 metros evaluated saw a slight decline in evictions (-1.4 percent). For example, in Newark, N.J., housing costs have risen by 4 percent, and one out of every 11 rental households was evicted from their home in 2014.

The data from the American Community Survey also reveals that evictions are most common in areas with higher foreign-born population rates.

“Evictions have devastating consequences on families and communities,” Redfin’s blog notes. “Evicted families are often excluded from participating in the Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher Program. Getting evicted has also shown to cause job loss, or worse, homelessness for some time. Communities with high eviction rates have an unstable social structure and are plagued with crime. … Without an expansion in policies to address the affordable housing shortage and the increase in cost-burdened renters, evictions will become an even more prevalent feature of the U.S. housing market.”

Source: “Millions of Renters Face Eviction – Why Today’s Housing Market Is Partially to Blame,” Redfin (Dec. 12, 2016)

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