Maricopa County eviction filings in July climbed to their highest monthly level since 2008.
Evictions were filed against 6,405 renters last month. It’s the highest tally since October 2008, 13 years ago, when there were 6,975 filings tracked by the courts, said Scott Davis, Maricopa County Justice Courts spokesperson.
July also was the second month in a row when monthly eviction filings were higher than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. Eviction filings across metro Phoenix reached 6,071 in June 2019, the month with the highest annual eviction tally since the housing crash.
Evictions slowed during the first year of the pandemic because of state and federal moratoriums to protect renters during the health and economic crisis. Hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds also were spent to help metro Phoenix renters pay landlords during the pandemic.
But rents shot up 30% last year, putting more financial pressure on tenants. In addition, more corporate out-of-state landlords are paying record prices for apartment complexes, then upgrading the properties and raising rents. And fewer landlords are taking housing choice vouchers, making it even harder for low-income people to find a home.
New Arizona law: Some eviction cases sealed from credit agencies
Busiest eviction court
The busiest Valley eviction court is the Manistee Justice Court in the northwest Valley. Manistee hears eviction cases three days each week, averaging at least 33 cases each day.
Most hearings are held virtually in all courts, giving tenants the ability to participate easily by phone or video.
Housing advocates are trying to get evictions off the records of tenants who pay what they owe and cleared with credit reporting agencies, and make the eviction process easier for renters to navigate.
Coverage of housing insecurity on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is supported by a grant from the Arizona Community Foundation.