Houston, Texas

Eviction filings in Harris and Galveston Counties, TX (Houston) have fallen sharply since eviction proceedings were suspended across Texas on March 19. Compared to equivalent periods in previous years (2012–2015), eviction filings were far below average over the last two weeks of March, and through April and May. Eviction protections in Texas began to expire on May 18. Courts in Harris county resumed business shortly thereafter, followed by the courts in Galveston County in early June.

More detail on eviction protections in Texas can be found on the COVID-19 Housing Policy Scorecard.

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Eviction Filings By Week

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Weekly Filings

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Filings Trend

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Eviction Moratorium

* Filings in the last week may be undercounted as a result of processing delays. These counts will be revised in the following week.

Changes in eviction filings

Eviction filings in Houston were higher than average in January and February of this year.1 That pattern reversed in March following the suspension of eviction proceedings. Eviction filings in April were well below average, a pattern that has continued in May. In a normal April, more than 3,800 evictions are filed in in Harris and Galveston Counties. This year, just over 600 were filed.

  1. Average eviction filings taken from Eviction Lab data for 2012–2015
  2. Filing data for 2020 collected by January Advisors

The geography of changes in eviction filings

Harris and Galveston Counties are divided into 853 Census Tracts. Here we map, in each of those Tracts, eviction filings over the last four weeks compared to the typical number of filings in the average year.1 Over that period, we see declines in eviction filings across the two counties, though also a number of neighborhoods with above-average filing levels.

  1. Average eviction filings taken from Eviction Lab data for 2012–2015
  2. Tract racial majority determined using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates for 2014–2018

Eviction Filings last 30 days
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Eviction filings by neighborhood demographics

American Community Survey (ACS) data allow us to categorize neighborhoods by their racial/ethnic majority: White, Black, Latinx, or Other/None. In January and February, eviction filings were concentrated in neighborhoods in the Latinx and Other/None categories. Since March, eviction filings have dropped steeply across all neighborhoods.

When you toggle the figure to see data relative to average, comparisons are being drawn—within the same set of neighborhoods defined by racial/ethnic majority—between filings in 2020 and average filings in 2012–2015. This allows us to see, for example, that filings in majority-White neighborhoods were higher than average in the first three months of 2020.

  1. Average eviction filings taken from Eviction Lab data for 2012–2015