I came by articles on the US Affordable Housing Institute (AHI) website, written by David A. Smith on Matthew Desmond’s doctoral dissertation on eviction. An assistant professor of sociology at Harvard, Desmond explains his interest in the subject
It brings together poor and non-poor people—tenants, their families, landlords, social workers, lawyers, judges, sheriffs—in relationships of mutual dependence and struggle.
He went to live in this community throughout the duration of the study.
Desmond spent four months in 2008 living in a trailer park on Milwaukee’s south side, a poor, predominantly white neighborhood near the airport, and nine months living in a rooming house in a poor, predominantly black neighborhood on the city’s north side.
The results of the research “led him to view eviction and incarceration as twin destructive forces affecting the lives of America’s inner-city poor”.
We are learning that eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty.
David Smith quoted him that no national data on evictions are available which was also Desmond’s motivation to do the study. This lack is also the situation in the Philippines that has in 2012, according to Vice President Jejomar Binay, “about 1.5 million households or 7.2 percent of the total 21.5 million households nationwide (as) are renters. Of this, 97 percent pay P10,000 and below monthly”. The stories behind this statistics are officially unknown, although people know of one or two horrific eviction events that happened right in their neighborhoods, but otherwise would be critical in the formulation of the Rent Control Act IRR, which is yet to be made, and of local poverty strategies especially targeting the vulnerable sectors. At the national level, such data would be critical in crafting gender- and age-appropriate housing policies and strategies.
The AHI articles are in five parts:
Part 1, Eviction, The Family Disaster: Hits Women and Children More.
Part 2, Eviction, The Family Disaster: A Polite Expulsion by Force.
Part 3: Eviction, The Family Disaster: Economic Human Shields for Men.
Part 4: Eviction, The Family Disaster: More Legal Rights Then They Use.
Part 5: Eviction, The Family Disaster: The Poor Are We.