- Youth Homelessness
- Volume 20, Number 3
- Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
- Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
From Foreclosure to Eviction: Housing Insecurity in Corporate-Owned Single-Family Rentals
Elora Lee Raymond
Georgia Institute of Technology
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
Georgia State University
In this research, we examine evictions in post-foreclosure single-family rentals in Atlanta, GA, placing eviction-driven housing insecurity in the broader context of rising middle-class precarity and institutional change in housing markets.
To understand the evictions rate in Atlanta and investigate how corporate ownership relates to housing insecurity, we use a unique dataset: parcel-level eviction records scraped from the Fulton County Georgia Magistrate Court’s website. We then matched these records with tax assessors and deeds data, as well as block group data on tenant characteristics from the American Community Survey. We document a high, spatially concentrated evictions rate. More than 20 percent of all rental households received an eviction notice in 2015, and 5.6 percent of tenants received a judgment or were forcibly removed from their homes. Evictions are spatially concentrated; in some zip codes, over 40 percent of all rental households received an eviction notice and over 15 percent of all households received a judgment or were forcibly removed.
We then examine the relationship between post-foreclosure single-family rentals, large corporate landlords that invested in bank-owned homes, and eviction rates. In a cross-sectional regression of singlefamily rentals, we find that overall, post-foreclosure homes are 58 percent more likely to have an eviction filing than single-family rentals with no foreclosure history. Foreclosure-driven housing insecurity of the late 2000s has been followed by eviction-driven housing insecurity. We find that large corporate owners of single-family rentals, which we define as firms with more than 15 single-family rental homes in Fulton County, are 68 percent more likely than small landlords to file eviction notices even after controlling for past foreclosure status, property characteristics, tenant characteristics, and neighborhood.
We use dummy variables to identify large institutional investors in single-family rentals like Invitation Homes and American Homes 4 Rent and find that these firms have uniquely high eviction rates. Depending on the firm, institutional investors were between 11 percent and 205 percent more likely to file for eviction than mom-and-pop firms, even after controlling for property, tenant, and neighborhood characteristics.
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