Evictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
More than 220,000 tenants across New York State are on the brink of eviction. Evictions are inhumane, unjust, and violent – and are rooted in long histories of economic, gender, and racial injustice. Evictions are about POWER and for many landlords, especially the Worst Evictors, evictions are an integral part of their business model. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the fear, threat, and devastating impacts that evictions have on our neighborhoods, homes, and families.
With Right to Counsel, evictions have plummeted, landlords are suing people less, and almost EVERYONE who has Right to Counsel stays in their home. But Right to Counsel isn’t yet statewide, and in New York City, it isn’t yet a universal right for all tenants.
The current eviction protections, which expire on May 1st, also don't go far enough. Tenants don’t need conditional, partial, or temporary protections. They deserve more – a REAL eviction moratorium, universal rent cancellation, and Right to Counsel for ALL.
Our Eviction Crisis Monitor shows how many New Yorkers are on the brink of eviction and homelessness. The graph and map update automatically, using the latest data from the New York State Office of Court Administration.
Note: Data only includes residential and commercial eviction cases filed in city courts, not town and village courts. Recent court data (last few weeks) is incomplete due to reporting lags; actual numbers are higher. The Y-axis begins at 140,000 to highlight change in 2020.
What does this graph show us?
This graph shows how many tenants landlords are trying to evict across New York State. Due to relentless organizing, the tenant movement stopped ALMOST ALL evictions throughout New York State for the last year by winning a series of eviction moratoria that stopped the filing of most new cases and prevented the courts from moving eviction cases forward. As a result, during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of active eviction cases stayed almost completely stagnant, as shown by the plateau in the graph spanning the months of March through June. In July, when Governor Cuomo changed the rules, landlords began suing tenants again, and between July and December, the number of active eviction cases increased by over 45,000. In late December, the tenant movement won new State legislation that paused almost all eviction cases from moving forward, but when those protections expired on March 1st, landlords began suing again and the total number of active eviction cases accelerated.
While landlords have sued a LOT of tenants in the last year, almost none have been evicted thanks to the work of the tenant movement. This graph shows what’s at stake if we don’t extend and strengthen the eviction protections, and win universal rent cancelation and right to counsel for everyone.
Landlords have sued more than 220,000 households for eviction – close to half a million tenants – across the state. Those numbers are staggering, but they don’t completely capture the risk. Conservative estimates show that at least 1.2 million households are unable to pay rent and at risk of eviction, and that more than 400,000 households may be sued by their landlords if the current eviction protections are lifted. The numbers also do not capture the countless tenants who are harassed out of their homes by their landlords or pushed out in other ways.
Note: Data includes eviction cases filed since March 23, 2020.
*Excludes single-unit rental properties to more accurately approximate the number of rental units per zip code.
What does this map show us?
This map shows how many families landlords are trying to evict in each zip code across New York City. The disparities are dramatic.
Eight of the ten zip codes with the highest rates of eviction are in the Bronx, which has one of the highest concentrations of rent stabilized housing and is home to Black and brown communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The other two are Corona/North Corona, Queens and Graniteville/Mariner’s Harbor/Port Ivory in northwest Staten Island – also neighborhoods with high immigrant populations severely impacted by the pandemic.
In the Fordham/Kingsbridge/University Heights section of the Bronx (zip code 10468), neighborhoods where mostly Black and brown tenants live, landlords have sued over 50 families per 1,000 units, while in Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill/Red Hook in Brooklyn (zip code 11231), largely white neighborhoods, landlords have sued less than 2 families per 1,000 units.
Evictions are always unjust, but this map clearly shows that poor Black and brown tenants shoulder the trauma and violence of evictions the most.
New York billionaires have made more money during the COVID-19 pandemic than ever before. Most of New York City's worst evictors make millions. The data clearly shows that landlords are ready and waiting to evict, but evictions DON'T have to happen. Instead, as a society, we can choose to cancel rent, ensure that no one gets evicted during a pandemic, and that all tenants facing eviction have Right to Counsel. And, we have to fight to make that happen!
Learn more about our work and ways to get involved in our campaigns to strengthen Right to Counsel, stop evictions, and cancel rent statewide.
: Data visualizations for the Eviction Crisis Monitor were developed by ANHD
, and the Housing Data Coalition
, with eviction filings data from the New York State Office of Court Administration and PLUTO19v2 via NYCDB
. You can find additional documentation of court filings data here