Renters in the Winburn area were more likely to be evicted from their homes and apartments than any other area in Lexington, a recent analysis of Fayette County court-ordered evictions over a 12-year period shows.
The Lexington Fair Housing Council’s report: “Locked Out: Foreclosure, Eviction and Housing Instability in Lexington, 2005-2016” by Taylor Shelton analyzed eviction filings in Fayette District Court. In addition to finding that landlords overwhelmingly win in eviction court, Shelton also looked at where the 43,725 evictions occurred by U.S. Census tract. Shelton is a research associate with the council and an assistant professor at Mississippi State University.
The Winburn neighborhood in North Lexington had the highest eviction rate for that 12-year period, at 101.2 percent — meaning there were more evictions in that area than rental units. The Winburn neighborhood includes Winburn Drive off Russell Cave Road.
The census tract with the second most evictions is the North Limestone area. It had an eviction rate of approximately 85.9 percent. The North Limestone neighborhood includes Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh streets.
The report also shows that certain landlords evict more often than others. Landlords with the most evictions during the 12-year period were responsible for 20 percent of all eviction filings, the report found.
That means one landlord that uses court-ordered evictions frequently can dramatically alter or skew eviction rates for an entire census block. The report found that high rates of evictions can be traced to specific blocks of streets. In addition to Winburn, other streets with pockets of high-eviction rates include the Woodhill neighborhood off Richmond Road and Centre Parkway in the Southeastern Hills neighborhood.
“Evictions tend to be isolated in smaller corners of a neighborhood, often a single street or even a single multi-family apartment complex,” the report found.
Art Crosby, executive director of the Lexington Fair Housing Council, said some of those landlords are renting to lower income people, tenants with poor credit or those with criminal records who other landlords won’t rent to. Those tenants struggle to pay rent and evictions are common.
But other landlords use the system, he said.
“Others build in evictions as the cost of doing business,” Crosby said.