Pro Bono News
Durham Housing Authority Sees Eviction Filings Rise While Actual Evictions Decrease (NC)
Friday, January 31, 2020
- The News & Observer
Durham Housing Authority Sees Eviction Filings Rise While Actual Evictions Decrease
"A legal group in Durham is challenging the Durham Housing Authority’s claim that recent reforms have led to fewer evictions at its properties.
Before it evacuated hundreds of residents over carbon monoxide concerns, DHA was under fire for its rate of eviction filings — much higher than housing authorities in Charlotte and Raleigh. Legal Aid of NC, which offers legal guidance for issues like safety, housing and income, says DHA is the reason for increased eviction filings in Durham County.
Eviction filings are the first step in the process of taking an eviction case to court, where a judge decides whether the resident can stay in the home. In Durham, most eviction cases are resolved before the court hearing.
DHA had nearly 850 eviction filings in 2019, around 20 times more than the filings from Inlivian, the Charlotte Housing Authority, and more than 30 times more than the Raleigh Housing Authority. Inlivian, which has nearly 2,000 more units than DHA, had around 50 total eviction filings in 2019.
But DHA evicted fewer people in 2019 than in the previous two years, cutting evictions by 30% since 2017.
The housing authority announced reforms to its evictions process in August.
In announcing the reforms, Anthony Scott, DHA’s chief executive officer, said: “Recognizing that our residents are the most likely to experience financial stresses that hinder their ability to pay rent, today we are announcing comprehensive changes that we think will significantly reduce the number of evictions from DHA properties.”..."