Housing

The CUSP team is grateful to Emily Benfer and her team of housing policy student researchers for sharing their data on eviction freezes during the pandemic and recommends that researchers who use this data cite their team’s work: Benfer EA, Koehler R, Alexander AK. COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria & Housing Policy: Federal, State, Commonwealth, and Territory. Published 2021. To access the full COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria & Housing Policy dataset, please contact evictionmoratoria@gmail.com.

The housing policy data project was funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Civil Legal System Modernization initiative. The funders had no role other than funding.

Research

Housing security is critical to health. In a research collaboration with CUSP team members, Leifheit et al. found that lifting state eviction freezes was associated with increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths, work that was aligned with similar findings from other researchers. Leifheit et al found that state eviction moratorium policies preventing all evictions would have prevented over 10,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases. CUSP researchers also found that difficulty paying rent was associated with suicidal ideation during the pandemic. Emily Benfer et al. identifies eviction prevention as a critical intervention to address racial health inequity. The long term consequences of eviction include worse credit scores, academic struggles, depression, and job loss.

Stories

In The Daily podcast from The New York Times, single mom Yolanda Jackson describes how eviction notices have affected her sons while she waits for her state to process her unemployment insurance claim.

Despite a CDC ban on evictions, many families are still being evicted. NBC News interviewed several individuals that were forced out of their homes during the pandemic. “They broke a lot of my things by throwing them out the door,” described one man.

USA Today interviews families that were evicted this past year as many have lost full time work due to the pandemic. Millions of households have reported being behind on rent payments.

Photographer John Moore documented the experiences of families facing eviction in Arizona.

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