Black neighborhoods bear brunt of Atlanta’s eviction crisis

Research released by the Atlanta Federal Reserve found that Fulton County is in the midst of an eviction crisis and its black neighborhoods are bearing the brunt of it.

Nearly half of the households in the East Point area's 30344 zip code have had eviction notices filed against them, according to the recently released report. Across the county the rate stands at more than 22 percent. This is double the rate for Cleveland, which the study said has high numbers of evictions.

 Predominantly black neighborhoods have Fulton County's highest eviction rates, according to research released by Atlanta's Federal Reserve.

Credit: Willoughby Mariano

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Credit: Willoughby Mariano

“That’s one out of four households getting an eviction notice each year,” said the paper’s lead author Elora Raymond, a doctoral candidate at Georgia Tech and graduate researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Center for Real Estate Analytics. “To me, there’s no way you can have a functioning school system, there’s no way you can have stable employment unless you deal with housing.”

The paper is likely the first time that researchers have quantified what has been suspected to be a high eviction rate for Atlanta.

Research shows that evictions can cause serious harm to families. Breadwinners are more likely to lose their jobs and evicted mothers have higher rates of depression and poorer health. Families are often pushed into substandard housing in dangerous neighborhoods. In other cities, high eviction rates have been linked to higher crime and dilapidated neighborhoods.

The 30291, 30337 and 30331 zip codes, which include Union City, College Park, and areas just west of Atlanta, had eviction rates exceeding 40 percent.

The paper also found that corporate and institutional investors tend  to evict a higher percentage of their tenants, even when researchers adjust for income levels and other factors. These types of investors bought up distressed single-family homes by the thousands after the Great Recession and put many on the rental market.

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