Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative is a Community Land Trust (CLT) and housing rights organization dedicated to sustainable, equitable, and economically just communities. Jane Place was interested in illustrating the housing precarity underlying the transformation and gentrification of New Orleans. A challenging legal environment for tenants in combination with gentrification and rising rent burdens for working class residents is creating a widespread eviction crisis throughout New Orleans. There is no national or even city-wide database of evictions, but a lawyer at Loyola University compiled courthouse records from January 2015 to June 2018 of evictions ordered and evictions filed, which was the main dataset for this analysis.
Gabrielle geocoded addresses of evictions ordered, calculated eviction rates at the block group level across the city, and examined variables such as poverty rate, race, education level, employment status, and rent burden in tandem with eviction data. Gabrielle estimates that over 24,000 people have been displaced due to evictions in New Orleans since January 2015. Counts of people displaced were visualized using a graduated symbols map and this symbology was utilized in a series of 5 maps that spotlighted neighborhoods of interest and serves as a tool for organizers and community members to communicate to stakeholders the data surrounding evictions in New Orleans.
Lastly, Gabrielle explored the overlap between areas with statistically significant counts of evictions and historically redlined districts in New Orleans, connecting data on past divestment with the current eviction crisis. City blocks that were graded D by the HOLC in the New Deal experience an average eviction rate 7 times higher than those graded A.
She also found that the New Orleans eviction rate (evictions ordered over rental units) is 5.22%, almost double the national average of (an estimated) 2.75%. Meaning that on average, one out of every 19 renter households in New Orleans was faced with an eviction order in 2017. In a model of various explanatory variables that were tested for predicting eviction rate, race and rent burden, as well as poverty status were the most significant predictors.
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