A Crisis of Eviction

After a comprehensive study which examined over 80 million records, the Eviction Lab founded by Matthew Desmond has determined that the eviction crisis has surpassed the opiate crisis in the number of people affected per minute in the U.S.

Desmond’s study concluded that for every opiate overdose in the U.S. in 2016, 36 people received an eviction notice.

The project is run out of Princeton University by founder and professor of sociology Matthew Desmond, who worked with seven different researchers to compile his data.

In an interview with Democracy Now!, Desmond explains that his research shows that four eviction notices are served every minute in the U.S., which tells us that the housing crisis in the country is far more pervasive and deep-rooted than previously thought.

“Four evictions are filed every minute in America. So the number of evictions filed in 2016 is equivalent to the number of foreclosure starts in 2009 at the height of the crisis. So it’s as if renters are facing foreclosure-level crisis evictions every single year.”  – Matthew Desmond

Desmond also discussed the consequences of eviction that may not immediately come to mind.

“Families lose not only their homes, but children often lose their schools. You often lose your things, which are piled on the sidewalk or taken by movers. And eviction comes with an official mark or a blemish, and that can prevent you from moving into safe housing in a good neighborhood. It can also prevent you from moving into public housing. So, after families are evicted and they go through a spell of homelessness, they often relocate into worse housing, into worse neighborhoods. Eviction can actually cause you to lose your job.”  – Matthew Desmond

So while Republicans continue to demean and dehumanize the country’s homeless population and insist that it’s only because of laziness that these people are forced to survive off of welfare, the evidence paints a very different picture.


To listen to or read the full interview, click here.

To access the Eviction Lab’s interactive data, click here, or visit our Resources page.

To learn more about Matthew Desmond’s book, Evicted, click here.

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