Data Updates: Measuring Evictions during the COVID-19 Crisis
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Originally published on September 2, 2020
These data updates capture weekly eviction filing counts for 63 jurisdictions across the US, representing approximately 13 percent of renter households in the country. Since data collection began, there have been changes to data quality and availability. The most recent update includes current data for 55 jurisdictions, representing approximately 10 percent of renter households in the country. To learn more about our methods and to read an in-depth analysis of policy effects on eviction filings, see Measuring Evictions during the COVID-19 Crisis, published in July 2020. Since the report was published, we continue to make methodological improvements. See below for a list of changes.
The data shared here is part of an ongoing research project and is subject to revision. To share corrections or observations, please contact Hal Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org). Data will be updated regularly. Unless otherwise specified, all dates in this report refer to the year 2021.
Details of pandemic-related eviction policy vary greatly from place to place. We classify jurisdictions as having “filing bans” if they have policies that range from preventing a landlord from filing any new eviction cases to prohibiting new filings for only non-payment or crisis-related reasons. We classify jurisdictions as having “proceeding bans” if they took actions ranging from closing the court system for all hearings to permitting hearings but preventing evictions from proceeding in cases attributable to COVID-related reasons. We classify jurisdictions as “other” if they have either no crisis-related protections or any of a variety of measures not covered by the ranges described above.
Changes and Notes
- Sacramento County, CA has been removed from the series due to recently discovered data quality issues.
- Data collection in Massachusetts jurisdictions was inadvertently underreported due to previously undetected court reporting delays. Data from November 1, 2020 onward has been updated with additional filings. The period in which data is treated as provisional has been extended two weeks to account for these court reporting delays.
- Data collection in Johnson County, KS has been suspended from January 1, 2020 onward due to data quality issues.
- Data for Collin County, TX has been revised from January 1, 2021 forward due to a previously undetected change in court reporting protocol. Our data from January 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021 undercounted Collin County evictions prior to this correction.
- Data collection in Orange County, FL was inadvertently unreported from December 21 onward. This data series has been restored retroactively
- Data collection in Nevada County, CA is suspended as of March 14 due to data access issues.
- Data collection in Orange County, CA and Palm Beach County, FL has been suspended from December 14, 2020 onward due to data access issues.
- Data collection in Lee County, FL has been suspended from October 31, 2020 due to data quality issues.
- Kansas has extended its state moratorium through May 28, 2021; we mistakenly cataloged this moratorium as expiring on January 26, 2021.
- Data reporting for Nueces County, TX has been suspended from November 15 onward due to data access issues.
- Data reporting for Pinellas County, FL has been suspended from October 1 onward pending a review for quality issues.
- As of October 1, the policy group “Proceeding Ban” includes only one jurisdiction (Travis County, TX). Prior to October 1, nine jurisdictions comprised this group. Reporting of this group in the chart, “Eviction Filing Activity by Eviction Policy Type,” has been suspended until there are enough places with a proceeding ban to report results for the policy group.
- Policies shown for Orange County, CA and Johnson County, KS have been revised following additional research.
- An order by the Centers for Disease Control effective from September 4 through December 31 provided allows tenants to halt a residential eviction with a declaration to their landlord.
- Policies shown in Texas jurisdictions have been revised following consultation with local courts and additional research.
- Since the July report, pandemic policy regarding evictions has continued to evolve. What was called a “hearing ban” in the original report is now grouped with a broader set of policies we refer to as “proceeding bans.” Filing bans are now grouped together whether they are accompanied by a hearing ban or not. What was called “no bans” in the original report is now grouped with a broader set of policies we refer to as “other.”
- Since the July report, we have added data for 19 additional jurisdictions.
- In the July report, eviction filing counts reflected the court dockets as of the day following the end of the collection period. Many court systems make minor changes to court dockets after the fact, causing the counts for a given period to change over time. Most of these changes are minor, and most occur within three weeks of the original collection period. We now revise eviction filing counts based on revisions to dockets up to three periods in arrears. It is possible that further changes to dockets occur, but the data above will not capture changes to data more than three weeks old. Data that is subject to future revision is indicated with a dashed line.
- In the July report, we undercounted filings in Palm Beach and Sarasota Counties in Florida due to a change in court reporting protocols in early 2020. The data above reflects updated filing counts that account for the protocol changes.
- Since the July report was published, we identified seven observations that were originally transcribed incorrectly from the court docket systems. The data above includes corrected counts for these observations.
- When possible, we filter commercial evictions through the court docket systems before collecting eviction filing counts. Nonetheless, commercial evictions are included in the total counts derived in many jurisdictions . These are generally a minor portion of overall eviction filings, but because of our data-collection method, they cannot be regularly disentangled from the totals.
The author thanks Layisha Bailey, Rebecca Cowin, Cornelius Johnson, and Clare Stevens for research assistance.
Suggested citation: Martin, Hal. 2020. Data Updates: Measuring Evictions during the COVID-19 Crisis. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. (access date). https://www.clevelandfed.org/en/newsroom-and-events/publications/community-development-briefs/db-20200901-data-updates-measuring-evictions-during-the-covid-19-crisis.aspx