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Despite decrease in CT eviction filings, affordability is still a concern

A rally was held on Howe St in Bridgeport on April 15, 2024 in support of tenants undergoing evictions from an out of state landlord that has newly acquired their property.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
A rally was held on Howe St in Bridgeport on April 15, 2024 in support of tenants undergoing evictions from an out of state landlord that has newly acquired their property.

Housing advocates remain hopeful after new numbers point to a decrease in eviction filings against Connecticut renters.

Nationwide, eviction filings increased by 10% over the last year, according to a study by housing research institute the Eviction Lab.

Connecticut’s eviction rate went against the national trend and dropped about 9% from 2022 to 2023.

Nationally, eviction rates have basically returned to pre-pandemic averages, but "almost 50% of sites are still seeing higher rates than before the pandemic,” said Eviction Lab research specialist Adam Chapnik.
The two Connecticut municipalities studied by the Eviction Lab, Hartford and Bridgeport, both saw decreases in evictions.

Bridgeport, the state’s largest city, saw a decrease in eviction filings of more than 2%. Hartford’s eviction rate dropped more than 11% from 2022 to 2023, according to the report.

While the numbers are a good sign for the state, the eviction rate could always be better, Chapnik said.

“I think affordability is still a huge issue in Connecticut,” Chapnik said. “Even though a lot of people can afford it. There is a huge gap in affordable housing and the eviction filing rates don't have to be as high as they actually are.”

In 2022, more than 22,700 evictions were filed against Connecticut tenants, according to a Connecticut Data Collaborative report. Last year, nearly 21,000 evictions were filed, marking a roughly 9% decrease.

“We're looking at a small decrease, nothing sizable at the same time where rents are rising, and we also have to look at, like where we're at today, because the landscape is changing,” Sarah Fox, Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, said.

Part of Connecticut’s lower eviction rate is due to programs that disincentivize evictions for landlords, including a higher than average eviction filing cost.

The decrease in evictions is a small win in the grand scheme of solving the affordable housing crisis, Fox said.

“Making sure that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to evictions, that we are increasing our affordable housing stock, that we are providing safe, dignified resources to people in housing crisis,” Fox said.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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