Housing needs rise as Wisconsin eviction ban lifted

June 25, 2020

Housing requests to 211 Wisconsin for rent assistance and help finding shelters are rising after a temporary ban on evictions and foreclosures ended. The 60-day ban signed on March 27 and expiring May 26, 2020 is shown in purple bars in the charts below and prohibited evictions or foreclosures based on failure to pay rent. We analyzed 23,802 requests for rent assistance and shelters made to 211 Wisconsin before, during and after the temporary ban. Requests for rent assistance spiked as the COVID-19 pandemic began on March 12th, then fell when the eviction ban was put in place. Rent assistance requests began rising again in mid-May, perhaps in anticipation of the eviction ban ending. Requests for shelters were high before the start of the pandemic but reached a new low during the eviction ban. Shelter requests almost doubled after the ban was lifted. Court proceedings in Wisconsin currently take place remotely, via teleconferencing or video conferencing, placing an additional burden on low-income renters who may have limited access to technology. Information on legal orders was obtained from a database maintained by a law clinic led by Emily Benfer, Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. Analyses examined data from January 1 to June 23, 2020.

Contributors: Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Irum Javed, Matthew Kreuter