Katrina Kism was frightened and confused. She rented the same house in Atlanta for three years. She is a single mother with a teenage son. However, she lost her customer service job during the coronavirus pandemic and was delinquent in rent for a month.
“I remember the sheriff standing at the door,” says Chizm. “I was scared because I didn’t know why he was at my house.”
Reason: Her landlord filed an eviction proceeding against her.
“Once you’ve been evacuated, no one wants you to lend it,” says Chizm. “I don’t want to be homeless”
When kicked out, people can fall into a negative economic spiral. During the pandemic, the risk of catching and spreading the coronavirus is even higher.
However, it did not stop the landlord of Chism, a company owned by private-equity investment firm Pretium Partners, from filing many criticisms of eviction proceedings against people during the pandemic.
“The company has applied for evictions of more than 1,000 residents since September last year,” said Jim Bakker, executive director of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project. This is a non-profit advocacy group that claims to support workers, communities and others affected by private equity investment companies.
The group is tracking eviction requests by corporate landlords and said in a report on Premium that they found racial disparities.
“They are applying for eviction of residents four times as often as black-dominated counties,” Baker said, according to the report.
The group focused on four counties, each of which owns hundreds of rental homes, and compared two predominantly black counties in Georgia with two predominantly white counties in Florida. The median income for each county is about the same.
But Report White County found that Premium applied for eviction to about 2% of renters.
“By comparison, in the black-dominated Georgia county, we applied to evict 10% to 12% of the population,” Baker says. “It’s incredibly disturbing.”
Pretium refused the interview, but stated in a statement that the report was misleading and “unfounded.” The company said its real estate manager “is working with residents to avoid evictions and has added more than 12 employees to assist them during this unprecedented pandemic.” ..
The company also said it exempted millions of dollars in delinquent rent and secured more than $ 10 million in government leasing assistance for residents.
This report does not claim that the company has any discriminatory intent.
“There’s nothing surprising to me about racial differences in eviction,” said Peter Hepburn, a researcher at Princeton University’s Eviction Institute. He reads the report and states that the various impacts on black lessors far exceed one company.
Recently published Hepburn Research We are examining court records of millions of eviction cases across 39 states. The data goes back to before the pandemic.
“Overall, on average, black renters have about twice as many eviction applications as white renters,” says Hepburn. He says there are many reasons for this, as well as financial reasons.
“We know that black renters have low incomes,” says Hepburn. “They have unstable employment, low savings and cannot seek financial support from family ties in an emergency.”
But Hepburn is why black renters are nationwide Twice They are likely to file eviction proceedings against them.
“I think there’s a reason to suspect that it’s faster for landlords to ask black tenants who are delinquent in rent than whites to move out,” Hepburn said.
It’s unclear why Pretium’s eviction application report reveals that the inequality is clearly even greater. This is more than four times the difference between most black counties and most white counties. But Hepburn says it’s not unprecedented. He found a similar disparity when he examined only a few counties across the country.
Pretium states that it will provide “equal rental opportunities and support to all residents.” The company states that it does not track the race, gender, or ethnicity of its residents.
Still, Baker, a member of the group that produced the report on Premium, said the company appears to have the resources to respond more flexibly to lessees during the pandemic.
“Premium Partners are not family-owned owners,” says Baker. “They are run by a man named Don Maren who worked for Goldman Sachs,” Baker says. “He just bought a $ 20 million mansion in Miami.”
According to him, the private company manages billions of dollars and owns 55,000 homes, making it the second largest single-family rental homeowner in the United States.
Pretium has rejected a request for repeated interviews with Mullen or an executive at another company.
Baker says his group also looked at landowners in other large corporations. “In fact, we’ve found that there are quite large landlords who are hesitant to move out,” he says.
Since September, orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have aimed to stop the eviction of renters who have nowhere to go. However, the lessee needs to be aware of this and take protective measures. Pretium states that it complies with CDC regulations.
In the case of Chism, she says she hurriedly found a temporary job and managed to catch up with her rent after receiving a move-out notice in January.
“I worked hard, borrowed money, and saved everything I could,” says Chism. But when the dispatch job was over, she fell behind again.
Chism has applied for a federal rental grant. And she got it. But she and her lawyer said the company refused to accept it. Pretium disagrees with this. She was told by the company that her lease was about to end and she had to move out or move out.
The company offered to exempt her from unpaid rent and fees only if she and her son moved immediately.
“Yes, I’m very tired,” says Chism. “I’m literally throwing things into the box.”
Chism talked to NPR again as he was moving his luggage together. She managed to find a place to rent. But she says it costs an extra $ 400 a month. It takes an hour to get home, so my son has to transfer.
“He asks me,’Mom, really?'” She says. “Now do I have to stop and start over?” Chism says the company dismisses her eviction proceeding. I’m happy about that, but he says.
Meanwhile, Baker said Pretium has filed more eviction proceedings since his report. Earlier this year, the company applied to evict nearly 20% of Georgia’s black-dominated counties, he said.
According to the report, black tenants are evacuated at a much higher rate than white tenants: NPR
Source link According to the report, black tenants are evacuated at a much higher rate than white tenants: NPR