Fayetteville ranks 17th in eviction rates

Fayetteville has a 7 percent eviction rate. That may not seem like much, but with North Charleston, SC, logging a high of 16 percent, our community should take note.

Higher than both the state and national averages (4.61 percent and 2.34 percent, respectively), these numbers present a concerning picture for residents, especially those of lower income. According to Eviction Lab, a research group at Princeton University, there were 3,055 evictions in Fayetteville in 2016.

With Fort Bragg ranking as its largest employer, Fayetteville is a largely transient city with a population of just over 200,000. Rental properties have increased in favorability among military families and individuals of all income levels, and housing prices have ticked up accordingly. Fayetteville residents spend approximately a third of their income on rent alone. Add in monthly bills and utilities, transportation and grocery expenses, and the paycheck doesn’t stretch as far as you’d think, especially for families nearing the poverty line.

“[W]hen you're in those conditions, a really small thing can lead to an eviction,” explains Dr. Matthew Desmond, a Princeton sociologist, of the national statistics. The loss of a couple work hours in the month or an unexpected medical expense can have big impacts.

Another constrained option for low-income individuals is government-subsidized housing. Currently, 27 public housing developments exist in the area. Waiting lists for both occupancy and housing vouchers stress the need for more affordable housing options. Now facing higher rent payments and– if suffering from poor credit– unable to buy a home, low-income families have less opportunities to acquire and maintain adequate permanent housing.

With this in mind, it is more apparent that evictions are not as simple as falling behind on rent. For low-income individuals, poverty affects multiple aspects of life and creates cycles of hardship.

Action Pathways creates initiatives that address hunger, housing, education and empowerment‒ four areas to which low-income families have limited access. Two programs administered by Action Pathways, ASPIRE Self-Sufficiency and Consumer Credit Counseling Services, help to educate and empower adults specifically with employment and financial resources that can help individuals sustain economic stability. Through informative workshops and individualized meetings, case managers help clients to outline their goals for the future and get them on the path to realization. From crafting resumes and lining up job interviews to providing tips for homeownership and explaining financial terminology, staff help clients see beyond their socioeconomic status. Once empowered with tools for financial success and responsible home management, people are more prepared for whatever life may throw at them.

 

To learn more about potentially becoming an ASPIRE participant and attending educational workshops, review our eligibility requirements.

For resources on homelessness in the community, contact our friends at the Fayetteville/Cumberland County Continuum of Care.

 


REFERENCE

EvictionLab

 

Emily McLamb, Agency Communication Coordinator
Tags: