Study: Tenant Distance From Court Affects Eviction Risk

Renters with longer commutes to eviction courts, often located downtown, face higher eviction rates.

2 minute read

June 13, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Eviction notice posted on gate

WESTOCK PRODUCTIONS / Eviction notice

New research reported on by Matt Levin for Marketplace highlights a major barrier for tenants fighting eviction: the commute to the courthouse. According to research from law professor Dave Hoffman, “For every extra hour it takes to get to court, the odds of a default eviction go up as much as 9%.”

Tenants who live far from downtown courthouses face the biggest hardship. “[Hoffman’s] research suggests that even controlling for factors like income and race, the farther you are from the courthouse, the less likely you are to make it there to fight your eviction.” Shanti Singh of Tenants Together calls this “almost a consequence of displacement,” noting that working class renters “have longer and longer commutes to work, but also possibly longer and longer commutes to their own eviction hearing.”

As federal housing assistance programs lapse and disruptions brought on by COVID-19 continue to leave many renter households vulnerable to eviction, some landlords are intensifying their efforts to file evictions against tenants who owe back rent. But the pandemic brought some innovations, too. “Many eviction courts used Zoom or other platforms during the pandemic, and some continue to do so. That may help with the transport issue. But tenant lawyers said many of their clients run into issues using the technology. ”

Click through to the source article to listen to the full radio segment.

Friday, June 10, 2022 in Marketplace

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

Digital drawing of person holding city skyline with wifi symbols and lines indicating smart cities or data.

Cities Awarded for Data-Driven Projects

The What Cities Works Certification recognizes cities for using data to solve real problems.

June 21 - Smart Cities Dive

The Basilica of St. Joseph in San Jose, California.

Faith-Based Housing Movement Grows

More churches and municipalities are saying ‘Yes in God’s Backyard.’

June 21 - Vox

Close-up of red and white BUS LANE sign painted in street lane.

Why BRT Can Benefit Cities More Than Rail

Bus rapid transit lines offer a less expensive, quicker-build alternative to rail that can bring other infrastructure improvements with it.

June 21 - Governing

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.