HOUSING + HOMELESSNESS
Eviction filings on the rise in Utah, compared to this time last year
SALT LAKE CITY — Eviction filings for the first six months of this year have increased by 46% over the same time in 2021, according to the Rental Housing Association of Utah.
Despite the increase in evictions, RHAU says the evictions remain below pre-pandemic levels.
The reason for the increase in evictions
Since the start of the pandemic, roughly $200 million in federal funds have been distributed by the state for rental assistance. And most of those funds have been used up.
“Many renters have been receiving rental assistance from the state and that runs out after 18 months,” said Brad Randall, board chair of RHAU in a news release. “When their rental assistance runs out, some are not able to pay rent and are receiving eviction notices.”
Utah eviction filings by the numbers
According to a news release, there were 2,888 eviction filings in Utah in the first six months of 2022. In the first half of 2021, there were 1,975 eviction filings in the state. In the first six months of 2018 and 2019, the state had 3,523 and 3,478 evictions.
“Evictions are still lower than pre-pandemic years,” Randall said. “If you compare evictions in the first half of 2022 to the first half of 2019, a more typical year before state and federal rental assistance programs took effect, evictions are down 17%. Utah evictions are much lower than the national average and lower than our neighboring states.”
Tips for those who are having a hard time making rent
If an individual is struggling to pay rent, RHAU says the best option may be for that person to move and avoid any possible legal action.
RHAU provides four options to consider for those having a difficult time paying rent.
- Personal resources. If necessary, individuals should consider selling personal items to help make rent.
- Oftentimes, friends and family can help.
- If asked, churches and organizations within a community can help with the cost of rent. They can also help individuals develop a plan to become self-reliant.
- Government rent assistance. The state has an eviction prevention specialist, who can be reached at 801-214-3109.
Is rental help still an option?
According to the news release, more than $100 million is still available for Utah renters. Those people who made 80% or less of the area median income from 2020 are available. Additionally, anyone who is 60 days or more behind in rent is also available for assistance for up to 18 months.
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