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An eviction tsunami following the end of the eviction moratorium didn't happen, but numbers are creeping upwards.

After the moratorium ended last fall, fears that evictions would shoot up to pre-pandemic levels were prevalent.

PHOENIX — The moratorium on evictions provided relief for some people struggling during the pandemic. While some people were out of work, it kept a roof over their heads.

However, after the moratorium ended last fall, fears that evictions would shoot up to pre-pandemic levels were prevalent.

THE QUESTION:

Are evictions back to pre-pandemic levels?

THE SOURCES:

  •  Katie Gentry with the Maricopa Association of governments
  •  Eviction data provided by Maricopa County

THE ANSWER:

FALSE, eviction numbers are still below numbers seen in 2019.

WHAT WE FOUND:

“The whole tsunami of evictions that we thought were going to happen after the moratorium ended we didn’t see.” Katie Gentry said.

Instead, we’ve seen a steady rise. Compared to the same months in 2019,  December saw around 1500 fewer evictions, January saw 1,000 fewer and in February, that number dropped to around 700 fewer evictions.

“We are seeing that climb to pre-pandemic level.” Gentry said.

So why have the eviction numbers stayed lower even as the ban on evictions has ended?

Gentry said rental assistance and people returning to work have helped, but some landowners are turning to different avenues. Gentry said tenants leaving homes because of rising prices may not count as an eviction but can have the same effect.

“These nontraditional evictions. Your lease is ending, and we are not going to renew your lease” Gentry said. 

How big is Maricopa County?: 

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census. 

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire). 

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds. 

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States. 

The county was named after the Maricopa, or Piipaash, Native American Tribe.

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