I found an interesting new website: EvictionLab. This website contains eviction data by city for a large number of American communities.
One might think that gentrifying cities and/or high cost cities have more evictions. But interestingly, low-cost, poor cities tend to have more evictions. Nine of the ten cities with the highest eviction rates are in low-cost southern states; the tenth is Warren, Michigan.
Even within states, low-cost cities tend to have higher eviction rates than more expensive, gentrifying cities. For example, Fresno has the highest eviction rate of any major city in California- 2.8 (that is, 2.8 evictions for every 100 renter households) while Los Angeles and San Francisco are below 0.5. Seattle has a lower eviction rate (0.3) than Washington’s smaller cities, Austin has a lower eviction rate than Dallas or Houston (0.98 percent as opposed to over 1.5 percent for Houston and Dallas). Miami’s 2.01 percent eviction rate, although high by national standards, is lower than that of other Florida cities such as Jacksonville (5.34) and Tampa (3). New Orleans (1.6) has a lower eviction rate than Baton Rouge and Shreveport (both of which clock in at over 4 percent). New York City is a partial exception- its 1.61 rate is higher than that of Syracuse and Yonkers; on the other hand no statistics are available for the state’s two biggest cheaper cities, Buffalo and Rochester.
So what does it all mean? It seems clear that there is not a strong correlation between gentrification and eviction, or for that matter between higher-than-average housing costs and eviction. Beyond that, I’m not sure what conclusions to draw.