Maricopa County evictions hit record high

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Recent news reports say there is a surge in the number of evictions filed in Maricopa County.

The Arizona Multihousing Association represents several thousand property owners and managers across the state. Each month, the Maricopa County Justice Courts release statistics detailing the number of evictions filed by property owners, and the Arizona Multihousing Association said those statistics need context.

They maintain landlords make very little profit on rentals and also work with tenants as much as they can to prevent an eviction.

Courtney Gilstrap LeVinus, President and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the statistics.

“First of all, I think it’s really important to understand that the vast majority of property owners work with their residents to keep them safely housed,” Gilstrap LeVinus said. “Evictions are a last-case and worst-case scenario. Our members really try to do everything before even getting to that point of having to file an eviction.”

Gilstrap LeVinus agreed that eviction filings have increased, but she thinks it is important to understand what is behind those numbers. She also mentions that an eviction filing is not an actual eviction, it is just the beginning of the process. Nearly two-thirds of those filings result in a judgment and about one-third of those actually result in an eviction.

“We can’t look at those numbers in a silo,” Gilstrap LeVinus said. “Over a million people have moved to Arizona in the last 10-plus years. When you look at evictions in Maricopa County in 2010, there were about 16 filings per 1,000 people. Now, there’s about 14 filings per 1,000 people. So, the actual filings based on a per capita basis have decreased.”

Courtney Gilstrap LeVinus, President and CEO, Arizona Multihousing Association

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