A new study of housing instability in Marion County examines evictions before and during the pandemic.
Indianapolis was already known to have some of the highest eviction rates in the country.
The study from the Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy, or CRISP, at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute found that a majority of evictions consistently occur in Black and brown communities during the decade leading up to the pandemic.
CRISP Research Coordinator Kelsie Stringham-Marquis said evictions dropped significantly when COVID-19 hit, but quickly began to tick back up when moratoriums were lifted.
“That is concerning because we are still in a pandemic and people are still struggling,” Stringham-Marquis said.
This fall rates rose to just 20 to 40 percent lower than pre-pandemic highs when filing averages were well over 2,000 a month.
Strigham-Marquis said a lack of accessible and accurate data is a barrier, but researchers were able to create their own database to better track evictions.
“We can link filings and follow that case along and see then what happens to that case,” she said.
Researchers feel confident the study is undercounting the real number of evictions.
They also indicate that a predicted wave of evictions would disproportionately impact Black and low income families the most.
Stringham-Marquis said this could mean an even tougher situation.
“It wasn’t great pre-COVID,” Strigham-Marquis said, “and I think there are some additional barriers during navigating evictions during COVID.”
The CDC extended a temporary halt on some residential evictions through March 31, 2021.