Fort Worth Reports Higher Number of Eviction Filings Compared to Austin and Dallas

Presented to city council members ahead of their Tuesday work session, the informal report reveals a concerning surge in eviction filings since 2020.

According to the report, in 2023, Fort Worth witnessed nearly 46,000 eviction filings, surpassing both Austin and Dallas, despite having a smaller population. The number of evictions nearly doubled between 2021 and 2022, following the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium and a reduction in emergency rental funds.

Although Houston reports the highest number of evictions in the state, with a rate of 10 percent, Fort Worth’s rate stands close at 10.4%. Lauren King, Executive Director of the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, attributes this rise to the increasing cost of living.

King and her team compile weekly eviction lists based on past clients and filing data. They aim to reach out to these individuals to provide mediation services and prevent homelessness.

Additionally, the Coalition runs a landlord engagement program to assist renters in maintaining their housing. King emphasizes the importance of landlords offering second chances to tenants and encourages their participation in the program.

Despite the high eviction rates, King clarifies that eviction does not necessarily lead to homelessness. However, it remains a common factor among those experiencing homelessness.

Fort Worth’s report, utilizing Princeton University’s Eviction Lab data, reveals demographic disparities in eviction filings, with black renters and female renters disproportionately affected.

Brittany Johnson’s story mirrors these statistics. After facing personal challenges, including surgeries and job loss, Johnson found herself unable to pay rent, leading to eviction. She eventually sought refuge at a local shelter and is now rebuilding her life with the help of housing vouchers.

To address the eviction crisis, Fort Worth is exploring various programs and policies. One proposal involves providing legal assistance to low-income individuals facing eviction. Drawing from success stories in New York and Dallas, where legal representation led to a decline in evictions, Fort Worth hopes to replicate these outcomes.

Another potential solution is to increase eviction filing fees for landlords and expand affordable housing options to accommodate residents’ needs.

By implementing these strategies, Fort Worth aims to mitigate its eviction crisis and ensure greater housing security for its residents.

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