Living in the suburbs isn’t a guarantee of being housed.
The number of suburban families that have been evicted from their homes has been increasing for years, USA Today reports, citing a study by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab.
“These findings remind us that housing precarity and homelessness are not just urban issues,” Scott Allard, professor of public policy at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the outlet.
Indeed, evictions remained steady in 74 urban areas, but increased in 58 of those areas suburbs from 2000 to 2016, USA Today said. The number of evictions in the suburbs is nearly equal to downtown urban areas, the report says.
The main reason for evictions in the suburbs is tenants failing to pay rent, the outlet reported. Low wages, particularly among people of color, and inflation are major factors behind the problem.
One-third of workers in the U.S. make less than $15.10 an hour, with 50 percent of women of color making less than that, the outlet reported, citing data from Oxfam America
“You can’t afford to pay rent in this country anymore if you’re just a minimum wage worker,” U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge told USA TODAY.
Those who are evicted in the suburbs also may not have access to resources of their urban counterparts, USA Today said, citing the report. In addition, there is greater sprawl, fewer housing units and transit options available in suburban areas, making evictions even more isolating, the outlet said.
“There are many issues that confront us and there is just a lack of housing,” Fudge said.
Furthermore, since 2010, a majority of poor in America have lived in suburban areas, USA Today said, citing Brookings Institute data.
“The suburban poor are increasingly concentrated in certain neighborhoods, creating stark inequalities between pockets of poverty and affluence,” the report says, according to USA Today.
Suburbs have been getting poorer for a number of reasons, including high-paying manufacturing jobs being replaced with lower-wage service jobs; rising inflation and static wages have squeezed the middle-class, who live in suburban areas; and lower income families have moved to the suburbs to find more affordable housing, according to the report, USA Today said.
— Ted Glanzer