Oct 5, 2022 - Real Estate

Study links violence in Richmond to delinquent landlords

Illustration of boarded up homes, broken windows, and chain link fence in the shape of a firearm

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The best predictor of violence in Richmond neighborhoods is the number of landlords delinquent on their property taxes, researchers at VCU found.

What they found: The link between violence and dilapidated rental buildings was stronger than every other factor studied, including income levels and population density, per the study.

Why it matters: The research suggests that external factors — bad landlords — have a greater destabilizing effect on neighborhoods than internal factors, like poverty.

  • The findings lend credence to slumlord buyout programs, which have transferred neglected properties to residents for rehabilitation.

What they're saying: "I believe that Richmond is a perfect place to attempt a program like this at a larger scale," the study's lead author, Samuel West, told VCU News.

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