The rate of evictions issued in landlord-tenant court per 1,000 renter-occupied households in the City of St. Louis
Eviction is twice as prevalent among renters in majority-black census tracts than among renters in majority-white census tracts.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For Evictions, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean renters in majority-black and majority-white census tracts are equally likely to be evicted. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
Evictions measures the rate of evictions issued in landlord-tenant court per 1,000 renter-occupied households in the City of St. Louis. The 22nd Circuit Court issues evictions when a landlord’s eviction filing is determined to have merit. A formal eviction is a legal process by which a landlord removes a tenant from their property, typically for nonpayment of rent. There may be many more cases of informal eviction, where landlords request or pressure tenants to leave without involving the court. Estimates of informal evictions are not included in this analysis. In 2016, there were 3,138 cases in which the Circuit Court ruled in favor of landlords filing for eviction. This means there were 39.5 evictions for every 1,000 renter-occupied households in St. Louis.
Evictions issued by Circuit Court per 1,000 renter-occupied households by census tract in St. Louis City.
|All||Majority- black||Majority- white||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Evictions per 1,000 renter-occupied households||39.5||46.5||21.1||2.200 to 1||39|
Data Source: Eviction Lab, Princeton University, www.evictionlab.org (see data note for full citation); American Community Survey 5-year estimates, 2012-2016.
Data Note: Matthew Desmond, Ashley Gromis, Lavar Edmonds, James Hendrickson, Katie Krywokulski, Lillian Leung, and Adam Porton. Eviction Lab National Database: Version 1.0. Princeton: Princeton University, 2018, www.evictionlab.org.
What does this analysis mean?
Evictions are more than twice as prevalent among renters in majority-black census tracts than among renters in majority-white census tracts. Renters in no-majority census tracts are the most likely to be evicted at a rate of 49 evictions for every 1,000 renter-occupied households. Renters in majority-black census tracts are evicted at a rate of 46 evictions for every 1,000 renter-occupied households. Renters in majority-white census tracts are the least likely to be evicted, at a rate of 21 evictions for every 1,000 renter-occupied households. If eviction rates were equitable, then there would have been 1,050 fewer evictions in majority-black census tracts.
Why do Evictions matter?
Evictions have many long-term consequences for individuals and families. The prevalence of evictions indicates a host of other problems - unaffordable housing and insufficient incomes to name the most obvious. Having a history of eviction, or even being present in landlord-tenant court, may lead to tenant blacklisting and homelessness. Blacklisting is when a landlord will not accept a tenant based on a prior history of eviction.
The Eviction Lab states, "Low-income women, especially poor women of color, have a high risk of eviction. Research by Matthew Desmond and Carl Gershenson has shown domestic violence victims and families with children are also at particularly high risk for eviction." According to the Urban Institute, the lack of stable housing is found to be strongly correlated with poorer health outcomes, child poverty, and food insecurity. Children experiencing housing instability and homelessness are found more likely to be chronically absent and to perform poorly on tests.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
While the Ferguson Commission’s report does not address evictions, many calls to action are related to the provision of affordable housing.
Questions for further investigation
- Why is there racial disparity in Evictions?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Evictions?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Evictions?
How can I learn more about this issue?
Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond describes the impact of eviction from the perspective of Milwaukee landlords and tenants in his 2016 book Evicted, using a blend of fieldwork and data analysis.
In 2018, For the Sake of All (now Health Equity Works) released its report "Segregation in St. Louis," which profiles research by St. Louis Post Dispatch reporters in 2016 on the prevalence, causation, and consequences of evictions in the St. Louis area.
The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) provides landlord/tenant counseling. EHOC Tenant Resource personnel can assist tenants having difficulties with their rental situation to understand their options. To speak to a Tenant Advocate, call 314-534-5800 or make a landlord/tenant inquiry online.