Media coverage

NPR Continues Its Scrutiny of Pretium Partners’ Disproportionate Evictions of Black Renters

July 1, 2021

NPR correspondent Chris Arnold has been reporting on the financial struggle millions of Americans are facing amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In his third piece on how Black renters face eviction at much higher rates, Arnold again reported on PESP’s findings that private equity firm Pretium Partners’ home rental companies had filed well over a thousand eviction cases during the pandemic, including filing to evict renters in majority-Black counties at rates more than four times as high as in majority-white counties.

NPR, June 17, 2021: With The Eviction Moratorium’s End Looming, Black Renters Likely To Be Hit Hard

NPR, June 23, 2021: Millions Of Americans Could Be Facing Eviction

Because throughout US history Black Americans have repeatedly been denied wealth-building opportunities, Black families are often in a more perilous position when it comes to finding affordable housing. Large corporate landlords like Pretium Partners contribute to this systemic racism, as NPR notes how “sometimes landlords are just treating people differently, being quicker to file eviction cases against Black renters.”

NPR shared the story of Ivy Ross, a resident of Pretium Partners’ Progress Residential in Jacksonville, Florida. Ivy lost his job cleaning and detailing semi trucks, and had his hours cut at a second job. Ross and his wife fell about $5,000 dollars behind on rent and were told incorrectly that it was too late to apply for rental assistance. The family now faces being evicted, with no sympathy in sight from their corporate landlord Progress Residential, which is owned by Pretium Partners, which has over $26 billion in assets.

As the moratorium is extended another month, the question remains as to whether private equity firms and large corporate landlords will allow their renters enough time to access financial assistance that allow them to remain in their homes, or if evictions will continue to barrel along, disproportionately targeting Black families as their victims.

Photo: Sally Ryan, The New York Times

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