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Business Observer Wednesday, Sep. 1, 2021 11 months ago

National eviction moratorium has soft impact in region

Tampa's evictions rate is off slightly since before the pandemic.

The national federal eviction moratorium helped keep 1.55 million renters in their homes a little bit longer, according to a new report, but the rule had a softer impact in Florida.

Princeton University’s Eviction Lab released the report, analyzing eviction data in 31 cities and six states from both during the pandemic and in previous years. The researchers found that about 1.55 million fewer eviction requests were filed during the period of the federal ban, Sept. 4, 2020 to July 31. (The Biden Administration revised the moratorium Aug. 3, but the U.S. Supreme Court ended that revision.)

In addition to evictions not carried out, the Princeton researchers estimate there were at least 2.45 million fewer filings when factoring in state and local measures aimed at preventing evictions.

The reasoning for the moratorium, the report points out, was to prevent people from being displaced from their homes during the pandemic, further endangering public health. Landlords, under the original moratorium, were allowed to commence eviction notices for reasons or violations other than failure to pay rent because of COVID-19. But between local interpretation of the order — and how strictly authorities in individual jurisdictions handled it — renters in some cities were more protected from eviction than others.

The city with the lowest change in eviction rates, meaning the moratorium had the least impact, was Las Vegas, the report found. Sin City had a 91.4% eviction rate in the pandemic when compared to its historical average. Tampa was No. 2, with an 82.2% eviction rate compared to its pre-pandemic historical average. Jacksonville was No. 4 and Gainesville No. 5.

On the flip side, Austin, Texas and Minneapolis-St. Paul had the two lowest eviction rates compared to previous years, primarily because those cities had local eviction moratoriums, the report states. Other cities with partial local moratoriums, such as New York City, Richmond, Virginia and Bridgeport and Hartford, Connecticut also had lower rates.


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