DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Eviction filings are up across the country, with some cities seeing nearly a 50% increase above pre-pandemic averages. In Ohio, eviction filings are just under pre-pandemic levels after seeing a dip during parts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio tracks housing trends across the state and advocates for fair housing. According to the 2023 Ohio Out of Reach Report, rent is up 17% over the last two years. Marcus Roth, the Communications Director for COHHIO, said Ohioans need to earn $19.09 an hour to afford a basic two-bedroom apartment. He said this is part of the reason evictions are rising.

“It’s certainly reflected in the increase in the two-bedroom housing wage, that it went up from about $17 an hour to $19 an hour in just one year,” Roth explained.

Data from the Ohio State Supreme Court showed evictions have increased since the beginning of COVID-19. In Montgomery County, the county with the most evictions in the Miami Valley, there were only 285 filings in June 2020. Two years later, in June 2022, there were 639 filings.

Roth said filings were low at the beginning of the pandemic because of the federal eviction moratorium and rental assistance programs. However, the moratorium ended in August 2021 and money for rental assistance programs is drying up.

“Things would have been much worse if we hadn’t had emergency rental assistance,” Roth explained. “And that’s why I think, in more recent years and particularly last year, you see the evictions starting to tick up because some of the emergency rental assistance is starting to run out.”

Roth said advocates with COHHIO are worried the current housing crisis will only get worse, leading to more evictions and more people experiencing homelessness. COHHIO is hopeful the state legislature will ensure housing programs stay fully funded and take steps to create more low-income housing.

“If we take action now and we make sure that people can afford a place to live, then I think we can prevent the kinds of horrific scenes that we see in L.A. and New York City from coming to Ohio,” Roth said.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, click here or call 888-485-7999 for the Housing Information Hotline.