AUSTIN (KXAN) — Evictions in Austin are back up to pre-pandemic levels, according to a research center based at Princeton University called the Eviction Lab.

“You saw 262 filings from the period of February 26 to March 5 this last week for which we have data, which is high,” said Eviction Lab Research Specialist Daniel Grubbs-Donovan.

He said in Austin, the pandemic moratorium worked so well to stop evictions that when it ended, evictions jumped up.

“In Austin, they went up about 80% to about what was standard in terms of number of filings before the pandemic. The second largest increase out of any city,” Grubbs-Donovan said.

Rental help could be coming

Emily Blair is the Executive Vice President of the Austin Apartment Association, a nonprofit that helps property owners and managers in the area.

“Evictions are never, it’s never an easy decision to go along that route,” Blair said. “For both parties, whether it’s for the rental housing provider or for the resident, that’s never taken lightly.”

Blair said while evictions are returning to pre-pandemic levels, rental help is on the way. She said it’s in the form of an anticipated 25,000 new apartment units coming on the market in 2023.

“These are numbers kind of like Houston or Dallas level,” Blair said. “That additional supply does hopefully, you know, help mitigate some of those increases and, you know, helps kind of stabilize the market and meeting that demand.”

This comes as the Texas Rent Relief portal had to shut down earlier than planned because of the high demand.

According to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, it saw more than 100,000 applications just one day after the system opened. 

KXAN’s Sarah Al-Shaikh will have more on this story. You can watch it on KXAN News at 6.