The "Crippling" Impacts of Evictions

Recent research explores the impacts of evictions, especially on single low-income black mothers, and finds that they are a poorly-understood factor in the cycle of poverty.
February 19, 2010, 12pm PST | Michael Dudley
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A sociologist at the University of Wisconsin has studied evictions and found that rates in predominately black neighborhoods is nearly twice the average. According to the New York Times,

"[In] many cities, evictions from rental properties are so common that they are part of the texture of life. New research is showing that eviction is a particular burden on low-income black women, often single mothers, who have an easier time renting apartments than their male counterparts, but are vulnerable to losing them because their wages or public benefits have not kept up with the cost of housing. And evictions, in turn, can easily throw families into cascades of turmoil and debt.

The study found that one of every 25 renter-occupied households in the city is evicted each year. In black neighborhoods, the rate is one in 14. These figures include only court-ordered evictions; the true toll, experts say, is greater because far more tenants, under threat of eviction, move in with relatives, into more run-down apartments or, sometimes, into homeless shelters."

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Published on Thursday, February 18, 2010 in New York Times
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