The Eviction Epidemic

Throughout Evicted, Desmond underscores how eviction destabilizes both his white and black subjects, calling attention to this nationwide epidemic. But the book makes it clear that the problem is especially pervasive for low-income black women struggling to stay in their homes…

“If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods, eviction was shaping the lives of women,” Desmond writes. “Poor black men were locked up. Poor black women were locked out.” …

Surveying tenants at court in 2011, Desmond found that people with children at home were almost three times more likely to receive an eviction judgement.

“Children didn’t shield families from eviction; they exposed them to it,” he writes…

The book describes how families with eviction records are forced to find rentals with looser requirements, and end up in homes in poor condition or in more dangerous areas. Landlords make serious profits on the worst housing by exploiting desperate tenants…

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