Phoenix topped the list of cities across the nation with the most eviction filings during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study by the United Way.
The report, conducted by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, shows Phoenix had 16,685 eviction filings in the past year during Covid-19, followed by Houston with 16,563 filings and Memphis, Tennessee, with 8,792 filings.
Phoenix and Maricopa often are at or near the top of researchers' lists when it comes to eviction numbers, said Scott Davis, public information officer for Maricopa County Justice Courts.
"Whether our area ranks high or low in comparison to others is dependent on factors outside of court control: housing affordability, housing availability, the job market, eviction law, the legal climate for both landlords and tenants, etc.," Davis said. "As a court system, our mission is to adjudicate all cases that come before us according to the laws and rules of the state."
Overall, Davis said he has seen a significant drop in almost all case types during the pandemic. Specifically, the Maricopa County Justice Courts had 37,749 eviction filings in 2020, 45% less than the 68,719 filings in 2019.
"That is something that tenant advocates can celebrate," he said.
Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order forcing a moratorium on evictions expired Oct. 31, 2020. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order was set to expire Dec. 31 but it has been extended twice to March 31.