Burden of Richmond Evictions Weighs Heaviest in Black Neighborhoods

An eviction moratorium has slowed filings in cities like Richmond, but it hasn’t stopped them, and Black tenants are at highest risk.

After enduring decades of unfair housing practices and economic hardship, Black residents of Richmond, Va., now disproportionately face the risk of homelessness. Black residents have long been cut out of political decision making and redlined into zones where banks wouldn’t offer mortgages. The Covid-19 pandemic is magnifying those disparities.

Tenants hardest hit by the pandemic and recession have lost hours or lost their job completely, and are left unable to pay rent. Now they’re vulnerable to losing their homes to eviction. Even after controlling for income and property value, researchers found, the most decisive factor in Richmond’s evictions is race.

This documentary is part of an ongoing reporting project that is giving context and history to news coverage of evictions, a looming threat resulting from the pandemic. This video was supported by Pulitzer Center, The James Irvine Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

  • Producer: Brian Palmer
  • Director: Bonnie Bertram
  • Sr. Producer: Erik German
  • Editor: Heru Muharrar