evictions, housing insecurity

Study Reveals Children, Black Women, And Latinos Disproportionately Affected By Evictions In The U.S

A new study from the U.S. Census Bureau and The Eviction Lab has established that mainly children, Black women, and Latinos are the most impacted by eviction proceedings in the United States. According to NBC News, of the 2.9 million children under the age of 18 who face eviction, 1.5 million of them go on to receive an eviction judgment. The study cross references data pulled from the US Census with eviction requests to create a detailed account of how the eviction process affects children. 

Juan Pablo Garnham, head of Communications and Policy at The Eviction Lab, told NBC News, “What we realized is that children are the population most impacted by evictions. If you have children in your home, the odds of you being a victim of eviction are much higher.”

Garnham explained, “Despite the fact that fewer than 1 in 5 renters in the United States are Black, about half of all evictions are against Black people, and that obviously includes Afro Latinos.”

In addition, the study states, “Black renters face a disproportionate share of evictions. Less than one in every five renters in America is Black (18.8%), but over half of all eviction filings are against Black renters (51.1%).”

The study indicates that the gap between renters who have children being threatened with eviction and renters who do not have children being threatened with eviction gets worse for Black women.

According to the study, filing rates for eviction proceedings for Black women without children was at 16% while filing rates for Black women with children sat at 28%. It also indicated that Black and white disparities tended to get better as income levels rose with some variation in each state.

According to the report, “Poor households are at greatest risk of eviction. As household income increases, the risk of being threatened with eviction falls. However, this pattern is shaped by the disparities in eviction risk. Within every income category, Black renters—particularly those living with kids—are at greater risk of eviction than their white peers.”

According to data from The Eviction Lab, in the 10 states and 34 cities which they have access to real-time data for, landlords have filed more than 86,000 eviction petitions in the past month alone. Furthermore, the number of eviction petitions filed over the past year is up by one million. This number is supplemented by accounts from renters upon whose testimony The Eviction Lab makes suggestions in its study.

According to one of their reports, “Our interviews show how eviction moratoria provided critical breathing room for tenants struggling to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, their experiences also show how the impact of these policies on housing security and tenant well-being may have been undermined by lack of trust, gaps in eligibility, administrative burdens, landlord-tenant power dynamics, and the large unmet need for affordable rental housing that remains at the root of the current eviction crisis.”

The study comes at a time when the average rent in America has ballooned to $2,050, a three percent increase from where it was at last year, according to Zillow. In addition to this, the National Low Income Housing Coalition says that the average worker would have to earn $28.58 an hour to be able to afford a two bedroom apartment, which is well below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The cost of housing in America in general is skyrocketing, placing renters in a precarious financial position. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, households are “cost-burdened” once they spend 30% or more on rent and Moody’s Analytics, which tracks the national average of rent to income, placed the national figure at 30%, which means that most Americans are spending more than they can realistically afford on rent. 

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