“70% of all eviction filings occurred in census tracts where the majority of renters are people of color.”
As we reported in July regarding how Mass spent millions on COVID consultants to rationalize letting eviction moratorium expire, Jamaica Plain-based housing advocacy organization City Life/Vida Urbana predicted early on that more than 200,000 households in the state would ultimately be at risk of eviction as a result of the pandemic.
Now, a new CL/VU study done in collaboration with a researcher from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning details the gruesome picture. Among the findings is that “communities of color bore the brunt of the nearly 1,300 evictions that Boston landlords filed during the first year of COVID-19.”
The report, “Housing Justice Is The Cure: Evictions in Boston’s Communities of Color During Covid-19,” “examines eviction filings through a racial equity lens,” and “breaks down the neighborhoods and census tracts most impacted by eviction activity in the pandemic. It also highlights Boston residents’ grassroots organizing to stop pandemic-era displacement, and analyzes the cross-sections of eviction activity and Covid infections city-wide.” Other highlights include:
Boston’s communities of color bore the brunt of the COVID-19 eviction crisis. 70% of all eviction filings occurred in census tracts where the majority of renters are people of color, even though less than half of all Boston rental housing (47%) is located in these neighborhoods.By contrast, 30% of eviction filings occurred in tracts with majority white renter populations, even though 43% of all occupied Boston rental units are in these neighborhoods.
Landlords aggressively pursued eviction against Black communities in particular. In the first year of COVID-19, the eviction filing rate was nearly five times greater in Boston census tracts where the share of Black residents is especially high than in tracts with high concentrations of white residents. In these Black communities, 14 eviction filings occurred for every 1,000 occupied rental units. In communities with high concentrations of white residents, just 3 filings occurred for every 1,000 occupied rental units.
Renters in Boston neighborhoods hardest-hit by eviction were more likely to risk COVID infection. Black and Brown neighborhoods that experienced the highest eviction filing rates also experienced among the highest rates of COVID-19 incidence.
Read the whole report at covidevictions.org.