Evictions and rent assistance needs in St. Louis during COVID-19

It’s no secret that more people are struggling to pay rent during the pandemic. But new data suggests that areas of St. Louis with the greatest rent needs may have something worse coming – eviction. We examined eviction filings – court cases landlords file to permanently remove tenants – and requests to 2-1-1 for rent assistance across St. Louis since the COVID-19 pandemic began. We mapped both by ZIP code. The similarity was striking. ZIP codes with the most requests for rent assistance (teal map, on right) also had the largest number of eviction filings (orange map, on left). We examined 1,579 eviction filings and 5,971 requests to 2-1-1 for rent assistance in St. Louis from March 15 to August 22, 2020. Data on 2-1-1 requests are from United Way 2-1-1 of Greater St. Louis through its daily tracking system. Data on eviction filings are from the Eviction Lab and are at the census tract level. Eviction filings were aggregated by assigning census tracts to the ZIP codes that contained the highest percentage of total housing units for that tract.

References:
Peter Hepburn, Renee Louis, and Matthew Desmond. Eviction Tracking System: Version 1.0. Princeton: Princeton University, 2020. www.evictionlab.org.

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