Evictions in North Texas reach pre-pandemic highs

Almost 22,000 evictions have been filed in Dallas County since the federal moratorium was lifted

North Texas (iStock)
North Texas (iStock)

North Texas counties recorded a spike in eviction filings in March that matches the highest level recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton counties recorded 7,829 eviction filings last month, according to the Dallas Morning News. The outlet cited data from the North Texas Eviction project from Dallas nonprofit Child Poverty Action Lab, which showed more than 4,000 evictions in Dallas County. Almost 2,600 eviction cases were filed in Tarrant County, DMN reported.

Some experts expected eviction filings to return to pre-pandemic patterns this year with a slowdown in the spring. The rise in evictions follows the end to the federal eviction moratorium in August. Since then, almost 22,000 evictions have been filed in Dallas County with a median amount of rent owed at $1,995.

Experts told the Morning News that likely factors include the end of state-level rent relief programs and the demand for rent relief from local governments. The local vacancy rates could also be a factor. The Dallas-Fort Worth metro apartment vacancy rates fell to less than 3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

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The influx of families and businesses relocating to the state has created strong housing market demand, both in buying and renting homes.

“There’s just so many people looking for housing, the demand far exceeds the supply, and so that squeeze is probably also contributing,” Ashley Flores, senior director of the Child Poverty Action Lab, said to DMN.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put a ban on evictions in 2020 with a goal to keep people safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19 by keeping people housed. However, eviction filings don’t officially represent people being displaced from their homes or for what reason.

[Dallas Morning News] — Kathryn Hardison