Population Health

June 15, 2021

Informal evictions on the rise during the pandemic, with people of color at most risk

Aerial view of several buildingsDespite the implementation of rental eviction moratoriums during the pandemic, preliminary research from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance reveals an increase in the number of reported informal evictions.

While moratoriums have legally prevented landlords from formally evicting tenants, this does not guarantee that landlords will adhere to the law.

The lack of governmental oversight and costs of challenging an eviction has resulted in landlords informally evicting tenants. Such evictions are done without formal notice, usually through text, email or verbal communications.

The research findings also underscore the disparate impact the pandemic has had on the BIPOC community. The findings reveal that Black, Indigenous and Latinx renters were most likely to report housing insecurity. These findings hold implications for population health equity, demonstrating the connection between housing insecurity, health outcomes and socioeconomic inequity.

The research was conducted in collaboration with the Tenants Union of Washington State, supported in part by a Population Health Initiative COVID-19 population health equity research grant.

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