Gabriel Dillard

published on May 11, 2021 - 11:19 AM
Written by Gabriel Dillard

Who knows what it will look like and how it will affect the economy, but it’s certain that we are headed toward an eviction tsunami.

That’s what sources agreed on in an in-depth story written by Edward Smith in the May 7 edition of “The Business Journal.” Federal eviction protections are set to expire in July if the courts don’t snuff them out first. Smith’s story examines the issue from all angles, from the groups fighting to help struggling renters to the real estate brokers representing landlords in an untenable position.

The story is required reading for anyone in the real estate industry, and hopefully motivation to subscribe to our print edition if you haven’t already. But I just wanted to share a few tidbits that really illuminate the situation we are all headed into.

  • — Central California Legal Services has about 300 files open at any one time representing renters dealing with the eviction process. That number hasn’t fluctuated, even during the pandemic.
  • — Data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia show that of the 33.5 million renting households nationwide, more than 12 million had at least one income-earner out of work at some point.
  • — A study by the Bay Area Equity Atlas in January found that more than 23,000 households in Fresno County were behind on rent, with an average debt of $1,834.
  • — Total rental debt was estimated to be $42.7 million in Fresno County.
  • —Despite various rent relief programs available, some landlords don’t want to participate and give up avenues they have to evict tenants for 80 cents on the dollar.
  • — Some landlords are financially settling with tenants way behind on rent, something called “cash for keys,” in order to get them out of the unit.

The eviction story is part of our “tsunami” series at “The Business Journal,” where we examine how the next shoe is going to drop as Covid protections expire. Please email if you have any suggestions for stories.

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