Greensboro ranks seventh amongst US cities with excessive eviction charges

The study showed that there were 4,948 evictions in Greensboro in 2016, with 14 families evicted daily and 8.41 evicted in 100 rental homes each year.

GREENSBORO, NC – It’s a no city wants to be on list, but Greensboro has found itself to be one of the top 10 cities with the worst eviction rates in the United States. Researchers at Princeton University’s Eviction Lab have ranked Greensboro 7th in the country based on nearly 5,000 evictions in 2016 alone.

The study showed that the lack of affordable housing is the main reason, but socio-economic problems such as poverty, homelessness, health care and educational disparities have also contributed to the worsening situation.

“I had big problems finding a place to live,” said Jermaine Johnson, 38, a Greensboro resident who recently became homeless. Johnson said he had been trying to find shelter for his family for the past 2 years.

“We’re 10. They want three times the amount everywhere and the accommodations are all full,” added Johnson, who has 8 children, including a newborn with his partner. The family lived with a friend until the April tornado destroyed that friend’s home and set him back.

“If I go into some of these apartments, because of our family size, they won’t let me.” Although Johnson and his partner have an income, it is not enough to support the family and secure the 4 bedroom space they need.

The Princeton study shows that even if the Johnsons find a place, the family profile can put them on eviction. The study showed that there were 4,948 evictions in Greensboro in 2016, with 14 families being evicted daily and 8.41 out of 100 rental homes evicted each year.

Jackie Lucas of the Salvation Army has helped many people who don’t have a home to find one.

“They could be bad credit or bad rental history. It could be that a single family is missing three times the income to get into an apartment,” said Lucas.

“We just haven’t kept up with housing costs,” said Brett Byerly, a director of the Greensboro Housing Coalition. GHC also helps people find affordable housing to rent or own.

“People are still making $ 8 to $ 9 an hour, and instead of renting $ 400, it’s $ 800. All it takes is a car breakdown, a medical emergency, a job loss or an unexpectedly high electricity bill, ”added Byerly.

Jermaine Johnson is just one of many displaced by the tornado or otherwise distressed seeking help with permanent or temporary shelter with the Salvation Army.

“I just wish there was someone who can help with some kind of apartment, or an apartment, an affordable apartment,” hoped Johnson.

The city launched the Housing Our Community Task Force to help tackle eviction problems and address the broader issue of affordable and sustainable housing. The Salvation Army is encouraging landlords to be part of the solution and relax some rules and restrictions.

Other cities in the triad also ranked high in evictions. Winston-Salem is in 16th place with 3,173 evictions and High-Point in 24th place with 1,182 evictions. Also in the top 40 are Fayetteville with 17 with 3,055 evictions, Charlotte with 21 with 9,101 evictions and Durham with 37 with 2,881 evictions. Raleigh was ranked 76th with 3,322 evictions.

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