Renters in predominantly Black communities were more likely to be evicted than white renters, a newly released report found. The report, published by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project, found that two corporate-owned properties filed 500 evictions within the first three months of 2021. Pretium Partners, the nation’s second-largest owner and operator of single-family rental homes, owns both of the properties named in the report –– Progress Residential and Front Yard Residential.
Nearly half of the evictions filed by the companies were concentrated in two majority-Black counties in Georgia, DeKalb and Clayton and occurred during the height of the pandemic, as reported by the Atlanta Black Star. In DeKalb, where 55% of the population is Black, the companies filed to evict 12 percent of its renters. The companies filed to evict 9.5 of its renters in Clayton County where 73% of residents are Black.
In two majority-white counties in Florida, however, the companies notably filed less evictions. In Seminole county, 15 percent of residents are Black and the companies filed to evict 1.1 percent of its renters. In Polk County, 2.4 percent of the companies’ renters were evicted while 19 percent of the population is Black. Between the two companies, a total of 1,300 renters were evicted since the start of the pandemic.
“The company has filed to evict more than a thousand residents since last September,” Jim Baker, executive of the Private Equity Stakeholder Project told NPR. Baker added that the findings on Pretium’s eviction rates in majority-Black counties are “incredibly disturbing.”
The CDC imposed an eviction moratorium as millions of American households faced financial devastation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Court filings show that Pretium was among several corporate landlords to dispute the constitutionality of the moratorium, calling it an “unconstitutional overreach.” The moratorium was extended until the end of this month by the Biden administration.
In March, the Federal Trade Commission announced it would be investigating evictions filed by “major multistate landlords” alongside the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau following reports that families were being put out despite the moratorium.