State-wide evictions see steady decrease, gov. officials worry spike is coming soon

Local News

Yellow facial mask laying on top of the eviction note. (Credit: Getty)

(WFRV) – After the coronavirus pandemic put a financial strain on several people, many homeowners and renters worried with no steady income and unemployment on the rise, they would be forced out of their homes with nowhere to go during a global crisis. However, a recent report released may be putting an end to these fears.

The report released by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA), is proving that during the tumultuous year that was 2020 and carrying into 2021, Wisconsin has seen a steady decline in evictions compared to the year 2019.

According to the latest data from the Wisconsin Eviction Data Project, in 2020, there were 19,427 eviction filings and 2,254 judgments for evictions proving to be 7,599 fewer eviction filings and 2,010 fewer judgments on evictions than reported in 2019.

These reductions in state-wide evictions during a time of financial hardship could be explained by the several COVID-19 relief programs available in Wisconsin which use federal funding to provide eligible households up to 15 months of assistance with existing or overdue rent and utility bills.

“This is a partnership between the state, local officials, community action program (CAP) agencies, and housing advocates across Wisconsin. Our collaborative efforts to respond to the pandemic have strengthened Wisconsin’s ongoing economic recovery while helping families keep a roof over their heads,” shared DOA Secretary Joel Brennan.

And it seems as though these programs along with the state beginning to open back up and people getting back to work are all factors that have helped continue this downward trend of evictions for the first half of 2021. According to the report, evictions are down 14.6 percent when compared to the same period in 2020. Yet, while still only through half of the year, state officials say there is a chance that once the COVID-19 federally funded relief programs end, Wisconsin will see a spike in evictions.

“While there is still a strong chance we will see a spike in eviction filings in August once the federal ban on evictions ends, the low eviction numbers are a clear testament to the very hard work folks across the state have done to get help to the people who need it most,” said Michael Basford, the Director of the Wisconsin Interagency Council on Homelessness.

The 2021 Eviction Yearly Report broken down by counties can be found below.

The DOA says that using the Eviction Data Project, they are identifying Wisconsinites at risk of eviction to allow WISCAP agencies to proactively reach out to potentially eligible households and offer support and resources. Individuals and organizations interested in receiving more information about other pandemic-relief grants and applications can sign up for Badger Bounceback alerts

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