Evictions take a heavy toll on individuals and families, along with broader communities in a city already struggling to house tens of thousands of low-income and homeless people.
After a pandemic-spurred moratorium on evictions ended last January, certain sections of the city are emerging as eviction hot spots, where property owners ranging from large firms with thousands of units, to small landlords with a single residence are successfully removing tenants.
Usually, people are evicted because they owe back rent. Other times, landlords seek to evict tenants whose leases expired. It could be because they are selling the building, they believe they can earn more from a new occupant or they simply want the existing residents out.
Regardless of the situation, thousands of evictions have a systemic impact on a city and region facing record-high rents and a deepening affordability crisis.
To better understand where evictions are occurring, what’s driving them and how they affect New Yorkers and the economy, Gothamist is launching an eviction tracker utilizing publicly available city data with key maps, charts and distinct takeaways that distill the city’s tens of thousands of eviction records — and what you can do if you or your neighbors face eviction. The tracker is part of an ongoing series on housing in New York City, for which we hope to solicit reader feedback to better inform our reporting while positioning people at the center.
If you or someone you know has been evicted or is facing an eviction, we want to hear about it. If you’re a landlord or property owner dealing with evictions, we want to hear from you, too.
- Since New York’s pandemic-related eviction moratorium ended in January 2022, city marshals have carried out more than 10,000 residential evictions, city records show.
- That still pales in comparison to the years before COVID-19 hit the five boroughs. There were 17,000 evictions executed in 2019 alone, and more than 20,000 in 2018 and 2017.
- Evictions have steadily risen over the past 19 months, and new eviction filings now approach pre-pandemic rates.
- Residential evictions are concentrated in specific regions: central Brooklyn, the central and South Bronx, and northern Staten Island.
- The vast majority of eviction cases that are filed don’t end with the tenant being thrown out. Housing attorneys often successfully intervene, and many people get last-minute financial relief from city and state funding sources or work out agreements with the landlord.
Since the start of 2022, city marshals have completed about 10,300 legal evictions in New York City, meaning they carried out a warrant issued by a judge to remove a family or individual from an apartment. Often tenants leave before the marshals arrive to clear them out and change the locks. These maps use real-time data from the city’s eviction database to pinpoint locations where marshals executed an eviction.
Among the city’s Census tracts, which break the city up into regions of around 90 square acres, a few regions have large numbers of evictions.
In one tract within Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood, 35 households have already been evicted amid hundreds of eviction filings. The vast majority of the filings come from a single landlord, the owner of the large Flatbush Gardens housing complex.
The highest rates of eviction take place in a few regions of the city: central Brooklyn, the central and South Bronx, and North Staten Island. Residents of these areas are more likely to be Black or Latino and earn far less on average than the city’s median income.
Several ZIP codes — like 10006 in the Financial District — represent regions with only a single eviction this year. But in others, hundreds of residents have lost their homes. In the region that makes up ZIP code 10467, which includes the Bronx’s Olinville neighborhood, close to 200 residents have already been evicted.
Until May, Brooklyn led the city in the number of evictions carried out. That changed in June, when marshals completed 409 evictions in the Bronx. The borough now leads the city in total evictions by month.
Pre- and post-moratorium evictions
Since the city’s freeze on evictions ended last year, evictions have ramped up throughout New York City. In February 2022, just 143 evictions were carried out. In February of this year, that figure leaped to 626.
What to do if you are facing eviction
Receiving an eviction notice doesn’t mean you’re on the verge of losing your home, especially when it comes to nonpayment cases.
The initial notice initiates a legal process where tenants have opportunities to challenge their landlord, raise issues with repairs and conditions, reach agreements— including financial settlements and payment plans — and apply for relief.
“An eviction notice is scary, but it’s important that you not panic,” said Cea Weaver, a campaign coordinator for the statewide tenant advocacy group Housing Justice for All.
Weaver said tenants should remain in their homes without giving up and leaving. “That’s the most important leverage that you have,” she said.
Tenants facing eviction should also respond to every notice to avoid a default judgment against them for not showing up.
“The most important thing is to not ignore, and to make sure you go to court on your court date,” said Justin La Mort, a managing attorney at the organization Mobilization for Justice.
La Mort also encouraged tenants to seek free legal assistance through the city’s right to counsel program. Low-income renters can qualify for full representation from a nonprofit legal group, though they are currently strained by the sheer number of cases.
“Be proactive and reach out to attorneys ahead of time, or go to court and talk with them there,” he said.
Tenants who live in non-rent-stabilized apartments and face so-called “holdover” evictions — cases that are filed for reasons other than nonpayment — have fewer options. The landlord can pursue an eviction after the term of their lease ends without a specific reason, like unpaid rent.
If you’re a tenant in a nonpayment case, get a lawyer if you can. Landlords, their attorneys and industry trade groups say they favor working with tenants who have representation because lawyers are able to connect renters with relief programs or broker a settlement.
Michael Tobman, a spokesperson for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents thousands of regulated apartment owners, told Gothamist that more lawyers are needed to move these cases along.
She also noted that tenants should document all conversations with landlords and property owners, and get as much information as possible in writing.
But the best defense against an unjust eviction, she said, is “getting organized with your neighbors and understanding [if] the landlord treats some of them differently. All of that is potential evidence.”
Tenants struggling to pay rent also have relief options through the city’s Department of Social Services, which provides emergency assistance loans known as “One-Shot Deals” to qualifying applicants behind on rent. The city is denying the majority of those applications, Gothamist reported in July, but tenants working with an attorney have the best chance of receiving the relief, said Nakeeb Siddique, the Legal Aid Society’s head Brooklyn housing attorney.
Siddique said tenants shouldn’t leave court without understanding what happens next.
“Think of it as a several-months process,” he said. “It’s a marathon. It takes a lot of psychological preparation but it’s really important to show up and leave court knowing exactly what’s happening.”