Approximately 40 people attended the Who Owns Durham? workshop co-sponsored by DataWorks NC and the Human Relations Commission. A focal point of the May 8th gathering was the relationship between corporate multi-family ownership and increasing multi-family eviction rates in Durham.
Ekim Buyuk presented research findings that focused on the multi-family rental market since 2000. Her presentation highlighted the following findings and trends:
- Despite a drop in the total number of evictions in Durham over the past several years, there has been a recent increase in evictions filed in multi-family dwellings.
- Eviction rates and trends differ according to property size, that is between tiny multi-family units (2-4 dwelling units), small (5-24 units), medium (25-49 units), and large (50 or more units).
- Between 2000-2018, not only is there a dramatic increase in corporate ownership, but also in the proportion of corporates based out-of-state.
Equally as important as the conclusions drawn from the data presented on rent affordability are the broader questions raised about accountability of corporate owners to the communities and how shifts in ownership are impacting Durham as a whole. This was a specific concern of workshop participant, Mel Norton:
“Mostly, I’m sitting with the broad question of how increasingly remote ownership of land/housing impacts people on the ground. We discussed evictions at the event- which is 1 area to explore, but I’m curious about the other implications.”
These are just a few of the topics expected to be discussed in the next Who Owns Durham? gathering, where smaller groups will focus on identifying programs and strategies to prevent displacement or mitigate the harm of evictions while determining action steps needed to advance these methods.
If you’d like to be notified of the date for the next Who Owns Durham? gathering, please contact us.