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Study: Black Baltimore Residents Evicted Three Times As Often As White Residents

Eli Pousson / Flickr

Black Baltimore residents are evicted nearly three times more often than white residents,  according to a new report by researchers at the University of California Berkeley and the University of Washington.

Between July 2018 and June 2019, the period studied, Baltimore households led by black women experienced the largest number of evictions, and predominantly black neighborhoods in East and West Baltimore were the most affected.

The disparity is a direct result of the city’s legacy of discriminatory housing policies, Charisse Lue, an attorney at the Public Justice Center, said while presenting some of the findings during a press call over Zoom on Monday.

The research predates the current pandemic, but Tim Thomas, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project who co-led the study, highlighted higher COVID-19 infection rates among the same groups most frequently evicted.

“If I was to take a guess, I would say that the rate at which evictions are happening by demographic group will be greatly exacerbated by COVID-19,” Thomas said during Monday’s call. “We’ll see much higher rates of eviction amongst African American households in particular.”

Evictions are paused during the coronavirus-induced state of emergency, but advocates warn that after the state of emergency lifts, evictions will spike.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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