Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How to Evict a City

There isn't a single census block in the greater Kansas City area which has not had an eviction case. That doesn't mean that eviction cases are spread evenly across the city. The most evictions have occurred in the poorest neighborhoods and the biggest factor which predicts whether or not someone will be evicted in Kansas City is race.

The Kansas City Eviction Project has mapped out 105,000 eviction cases in Kansas City from 2006-2016. The map includes a choropleth layer, which I assume reflects the percentage of evictions per population of each census block. If you hover over a block on the map you can view the number of eviction cases in that block. You can also view some demographic details, such as the percentage of the population who are black, the percentage who are white and the median income.

Individual properties are also shown on the map using colored dots. These dots are colored to indicate the number of eviction cases issued at that property. If you select a dot on the map then you can view how many notices to vacate have been served and when the last eviction case was filed at that property.

Rent control is disappearing fast in New York. ProPublica reports that since a 1994 City council vote on vacancy decontrol 250,000 New York apartments have lost their rent stabilization status. The 1994 vote allowed landlords to "escape regulation and charge market rates once tenants moved out of apartments that cost at least $2,000 a month".

The ProPublica report on the 1994 vacancy decontrol vote (and its consequent affect on New York's rental market) suggests that some unscrupulous landlords have, since the change in the law, sought to drive out rent stabilized tenants in order to hike up rents.

ProPublica's interactive map Tracking Evictions and Rent Stabilization in NYC shows the number of eviction cases that were made in New York City apartment blocks between January 2013 and June 2015. There may not be a direct correlation between the number of eviction orders in New York and the desire of landlords to drive out rent stabilized tenants. However the ProPublica map certainly shows an incredible number of eviction orders have been made against New York tenants in recent years.

Clicking on the apartment buildings colored on the map reveals the number of eviction orders placed on tenants (and the likely rent stabilization status of the building's apartments). It is truly remarkable how many apartment buildings in New York have had over 100 eviction orders served on tenants in such a short space of time.

The No-Fault Evictions Map visualizes properties in San Francisco where landlords have evicted their tenants using the controversial Ellis Act. It shows both individual properties and an overall choropleth view which shows which San Francisco neighborhoods have seen the most eviction.

The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project has also been mapping Ellis Act Evictions in San Francisco for a number of years. Their Ellis Act Evictions Map features an animated timeline map of Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco from 1997 to the present day.

The Ellis Act gives landlords the right to evict tenants in order to "go out of business". Judging by this interactive map some San Francisco landlords have gone out of business quite a few times now.
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