Unaffordable America: Poverty, housing, and eviction

Posted by University of Wisconsin on June 15, 2015

Poverty, Housing, and Eviction

A lack of both affordable housing and public housing assistance has resulted in high rates of eviction for low-income renters, according to a new policy brief by Matthew Desmond, a Harvard University professor and affiliate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty. Desmond finds that in 2013, over a million families spent more than 70 percent of their income on rent and utilities, and about one in eight poor families thought it was likely they would be evicted soon. Low-income women, especially black women, are most at risk of eviction, according to the brief. Desmond argues that expanding aid to renters who experience a drastic but temporary loss of income could prevent many evictions, but that affordable housing initiatives are the real key to long-term eviction prevention.


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