The Columbus Dispatch reports eviction filings are at a 20-year high in counties around Ohio's capital city. Even though the numbers are up near Ohio's capitol, many courts in the Mahoning Valley are seeing less evictions in 2024.

Austintown, Niles, and other courts in the area are seeing lower eviction numbers in 2023 and 2024. 

Austintown has 56 evictions filed this year, compared to 83 last year around the same time. Niles had 371 evictions in 2023 and has only seen 79 evictions so far in 2024, meaning the city is on track to having a lower number of evictions this year.

Christopher Shaker, Niles Municipal Court Judge, said since tenants aren't getting pandemic money to prevent their eviction, they often move out before being ordered to leave.

"When they get behind on the rent, they know they are obligated to pay the rent, rather than depend on an agency to help them with their rental funds. They just move on," said Shaker.

Other judges, including one in Sebring, try to stop evictions before they even happen, which could lead to these lower numbers. 

"We try to tackle them one at a time, to keep somebody with a roof over their head and get some money in the landlord's pockets," said Joe Schiavoni, Sebring Court Judge. 

Schiavoni said even though rent is higher, a lower unemployment number and higher-paying jobs are likely keeping eviction numbers lower in the valley.

Even though many courts are seeing fewer evictions in the valley, Youngstown and Columbiana County are seeing more evictions. Columbiana County has 82 cases filed so far in 2024. Last year at the end of April, the county only had 66 evictions. 

The Youngstown Clerk of Courts said this is likely because of inflation and the economy.