City marshals evicted more than 28,700 residential tenants in New York City last year, according to Department of Investigation figures obtained by Housing Court Answers. That was about 1,000 more than there were in 2011, and by far the highest number in the last six years. In 2006, before the Great Recession, there were about 23,800 evictions.
Most of the increase came from the Bronx, where about 11,000 families and individuals were forced out of their homes. Brooklyn had the second-highest number of evictions, with about 9,500.
The actual number of people losing their homes because they can’t pay the rent is much higher. These figures count only cases when city marshals were called in to claim possession of an apartment or physically oust a tenant. That happens slightly less than one-fourth of the times when Housing Court issues a “warrant of possession,” which gives the landlord the right to evict the tenant. In many of those cases, the tenants leave on their own instead of waiting to be thrown out.
“These numbers show that tenants’ financial condition is worsening, despite some improv ement in the city’s economy,” says Jenny Laurie, assistant director of Housing Court Answers. The number of evictions, she adds, would probably have been even higher if not for an extensive moratorium on them in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens after Hurricane Sandy.