Breaking News
More () »

Eviction court hearings increasing in Ada and Canyon counties

Jesse Tree data shows 136 eviction court hearings in January of 2023, which is more than double the number of hearings one year prior.

BOISE, Idaho — Fighting the housing crisis in the Treasure Valley takes a team like the one at Jesse Tree — a local non-profit working to keep people facing eviction in their homes. 

But lately, more people in Ada and Canyon counties need help. Morgan DeCarl, Jesse Tree program manager, said more and more people can't access affordable housing.

Jesse Tree data shows 138 eviction court hearings in January of 2023. That's more than double the number of hearings in January of 2022, when there were 62.

"Currently, we're seeing landlords evicting tenants after only one month of past due rent or even just the current month's past due rent," DeCarl said. "Last year, we were seeing numbers that were three, four, up to six months past due." 

That's because during COVID-19, there were more programs available for renters. DeCarl said that decreased flexibility plays a big role in increased eviction rates. 

On Tuesday, there were 22 eviction court hearings in Ada County and 13 cases in Canyon County. Expiring Emergency Rental Assistance Program money isn't helping the situation, she said. 

"There is a fiscal cliff coming, and there really isn't a solution in place," DeCarl said. "A lot of families have maxed out of their funding. They are no longer able to access more, so landlords are filing sooner rather than later for eviction." 

Ali Rabe, Jesse Tree executive director, said sky-high rents only add to the burden. A lot of people are facing eviction for the first time. 

"In the last couple of years, rent has increased by 40%, and wages have not," she said. "More and more people are living paycheck to paycheck and are just struggling."

Rabe encourages struggling families to reach out to their landlords. She said one-third of renters who go through Jesse Tree have yet to start that conversation. 

Most times, landlords don't want to take renters to court. She said it costs $167 to file and then another $850 to hire an attorney. 

"If tenants can just talk to their landlord when they can't pay their rent and explain the situation, contact Jesse Tree, maybe even set up a payment plan with their landlord, then they can avoid court entirely and save everyone time and money." 

DeCarl said she wants people to know they're not alone and that there's help available. 

"The gut instinct is just to kind of hide from the situation," she said. "[But] the best thing to do is reach out and communicate as early as possible." 

People can call Jesse Tree's Tenant Resource Center for rental help. They can also apply for assistance online. Even if someone isn't struggling to pay rent, DeCarl said they're always looking for volunteers to field phone calls.

Watch more Local News:

See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist:

KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Before You Leave, Check This Out