Fast Focus Research/Policy Brief Icon

Unaffordable America: Poverty, housing, and eviction

Matthew Desmond explores the crisis faced by poor families in finding and maintaining affordable housing in this Fast Focus brief. Drawing from his own extensive ethnographic and quantitative research, Desmond outlines the trends that led to the current situation: rising housing costs, stagnant or falling incomes among the poor, and a shortfall of federal housing assistance. As a result of these trends, most poor renting families now devote over half of their income to housing costs, and eviction has become commonplace in low-income communities. Poor single mothers with young children, particularly African Americans, are at especially high risk of eviction. Desmond reviews the consequences of eviction—for parents, children, and neighborhoods—and concludes with suggested policy remedies and a call to pull housing back to the center of the poverty debate.


Child Poverty, Children, Eviction & Foreclosure, Gender Inequality, Homelessness, Housing, Housing Assistance, Housing Market, Inequality & Mobility, Neighborhood Effects, Place, Racial/Ethnic Inequality


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