The Eviction Lab
Matthew Desmond published Evicted back in 2010. It was a powerful examination of evictions in Wisconsin, with universal takeaways that had a deep and lasting influence on local public policies. Over the proceeding decade, the eviction crisis has deepened, and these lessons are more relevant than ever. Dr. Desmond founded The Eviction Lab to continue this scholarship.
One of the big challenges is that eviction data is managed locally. Evictions happen in local courts. And in some states, like Texas, local courts manage data however they choose.
In 2017, The Eviction Lab worked diligently to assemble the first-ever nationwide evictions dataset for the preceding calendar year. Using that data, they compared and ranked cities across the country. And when cities were unhappy with their rankings, like Richmond, Virginia, they enacted eviction diversion policies and programs.
But this ranking only captured one point in time. When the pandemic hit, The Eviction Lab knew it wanted to keep tabs on what was happening across the country every week. We had already built a near-real time pipeline for Harris County evictions data and published our analysis right before the lockdowns.
Our ongoing collaboration with The Eviction Lab includes managing portions of the eviction data pipeline for local jurisdictions across the country. We provide validation and quality assurance, as well as transformation services like address cleaning, geocoding, and Census tract lookup.
Using this information, The Eviction Lab has published dozens of papers and public scholarships related to neighborhood hotspots, active landlords, growing claim amounts, and much more.
We are honored to continue collaborating with them and advocating for more available data to inform scholarship and public policy.