For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that approximately 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute.
"Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty," Desmond says. "Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, school instability [and] community instability."
Desmond won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for his book,Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. His latest project is The Eviction Lab, a team of researchers and students at Princeton University dedicated to amassing the nation's first-ever database of eviction. To date, the Lab had collected 83 million records from 48 states and the District of Columbia.
To read and hear the rest of this NPR story from the April 12, 2018 edition of Fresh Air, with host Terry Gross, click here.