"For tens of thousands of renters, life has become increasingly unstable in recent years, even as the economy has slowly improved. Middle-class wages have stagnated and rents have risen sharply in many places, fueled by growing interest in urban living and a shortage of rental housing," reports Shaila Dawan.
"The result is a surge in eviction cases that has abruptly disrupted lives, leaving families to search for not just new housing that fits their budgets but new schools, new bus routes and sometimes new jobs."
Dewan notes the rising rate of evictions can be found all over the country, despite the fact that landlord-tenant laws and housing market conditions vary so much between cities and states. From 2010 to 2013, however, "Maine experienced a 21 percent increase in eviction filings, Massachusetts 11 percent and Kentucky 8 percent. In the fiscal year that ended in June, New Jersey, which has some of the strongest tenant protections in the country, had one eviction filing for every six renter households. In Georgia, where court statistics do not differentiate between tenants evicted by a landlord and homeowners evicted after foreclosure, filings soared to almost 270,000 last year, a 9 percent jump since 2010."