black women

As black men waste away in prison, black women are being evicted at astronomical rates

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April V. Taylor

A recent review of a MacArthur Foundation study by Harvard sociology professor Matthew Desmond has shown that black women are being locked out of housing and face much higher eviction rates than other population segments including black men.  The study was conducted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and found that 16 families are evicted every day, which means a total of 16,000 people are evicted from 6,000 housing units each year.  Desmond points out that these numbers do not include those who are evicted outside of the established legal process.

Desmond also uncovered the fact that while black women only make up 9.6 percent of Milwaukee’s population, they represent 30 percent of the evictions in the city.  Desmond believes this is due to multiple factors, one of which is the fact that despite black women in poor neighborhoods being more likely to work than men, the wages they earn for that work are consistently lower.  The fact that many of these women are mothers also increases their risk of eviction because children being present in a housing unit puts a landlord at risk for having units tested for lead.  Children also create more wear and tear on housing units.

One factor Desmond points out that many have not considered is the relationship between mainly male landlords and their female tenants.  The gender dynamics that play out in this relationship cause many women to not confront landlords about impending eviction, which means they generally do not have an opportunity to work out a compromise with the landlord.

READ MORE via Financial Juneteenth | As black men waste away in prison, black women are being evicted at astronomical rates.

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