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Report says communities of color faced higher eviction rates in Massachusetts

After the eviction moratorium ended, 55% of eviction filings occurred in locations where most of the residents were people of color.

Vanessa Vela, left, poses for a portrait with her mother, Josefa Mejia at their home near Union Square, in, MA on March 12, 2022. The area undergoing massive gentrification now that the Green Line extension is set to open. Vanessa has lived there with her son and mother for over a decade and now she is facing eviction after her building was sold. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


BOSTON (AP) — Eviction rates in Massachusetts were about twice as high in communities of color compared to predominantly white neighborhoods during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, a report by a housing group said.

The report, released on Tuesday from Homes for All Massachusetts, stated that after the state’s eviction moratorium expired in October 2020, 55% of eviction filings occurred in locations where most of the residents were people of color. But only 42% of the state’s renters live in those neighborhoods.

According to the report, the pandemic could potentially worsen the long-term economic and racial disparities in the state because minority communities not only faced high eviction rates but they also faced an increase in coronavirus infections and job losses.

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In 16 cities and towns across the state, eviction rates were more than 1.5 times higher than predominantly white neighborhoods. In nonwhite Boston neighborhoods, eviction filings were 2.4 times more common, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Since the start of the pandemic, federal and state housing assistance totaling $582 million has supported about 72,000 households, attempting to make up for the more than 33,000 eviction cases filed in the state, the report said.

Residents who are facing evictions can still apply to state-funded housing assistance programs, the newspaper said.

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