Study: Hampton Roads cities on top ten list for highest eviction rates

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Several Hampton Roads cities have the highest eviction rates in the country, according to a new study from Eviction Lab.

According to researchers, in some local cities, about one out of every 10 renters is evicted. 

Jesse Perkins is one of those renters who was evicted from his apartment. Currently, Perkins is living at the Union Mission Ministries, where he is provided a warm meal and a roof over his head.

“For certain health issues, health reasons I had to leave my job and I lost my apartment,” said Perkins. “Sometimes I don’t think you have enough time to make the transition you need to make.”

Perkins had heart surgery, surmounting medical bills, couldn’t pay rent to his landlord and was evicted just weeks ago. 

“I think eviction in Virginia is very high and this isn’t the first time I’ve been through it before, and I know the process,” said Perkins. 

And, according to the Eviction Lab study, Perkins is far from alone. 

In fact, the study showed that five of the top 10 large cities with the highest eviction rates are in Virginia, with four of them in Hampton Roads. 

The city of Hampton ranks third at 10.49 percent. 

According to Eviction Lab, there were 2,538 evictions in the Hampton area in 2016. That amounts to about seven households evicted every day. 

Newport News ranks fourth at 10.23 percent,  Norfolk ranks sixth and Chesapeake ranks tenth. The eviction filing rate is much higher across the board, with about 1 in 3 renters. 

10 On Your Side took the numbers to attorney Mike Goodove with Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz, & Goodove, out of Norfolk. 

“Virginia has a landlord tenant act that is in most leases and it provides protection to tenants, so if someone isn’t paying their rent in Virginia there is a legal process that a landlord must go through and it requires steps that ensures tenants are protected,” said Goodove

So, what could be a reason for the high numbers in Hampton Roads?

“I would have to really look at the number, but you have to compare it to the amount of people renting and whether that is out of the ordinary for other jurisdictions, I can tell you, I am a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, and Hampton Roads tends to be a semi-transient community.”

As for Perkins, he says the Union Mission helped get him on his feet, with computer training and interviewing skill techniques. 

“All different kinds of classes to help people out of their homelessness to be able to sustain themselves in permanent housing with a good job that will keep them off the streets,” said Linda Jones, the public relations director for Union Mission Ministries. 

10 On Your Side has learned Perkins has several job interviews lined up. 

“Just being here has been a great help. It helps.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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