Friday, March 18, 2016

The Disgrace of Housing for Low Income Families in America


This review of the book "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Harvard Sociologist Matthew Desmond is quite telling in how this nation does not value "thoughtful, loving structure." As one might expect, though, it does exemplify quite clearly how profit rules over even the most basic of human rights.

Below you will find just once excerpt from the Q & A with the author that are a part of the review:

"...In the beginning of the book, you point out that evictions used to be rare, even during the Great Depression. Today, you argue that millions are being evicted every year. Why has it become so common?
That’s one of the big things you see when reading urban history of the 1930s and 1940s. Evictions are these moments of scandal and mass community resistance. There’s a little note in the book about an eviction [in February 1932] of three Bronx families, which brought out a thousand people. The New York Times wrote about it like that was a poor showing because it was too cold.
Now we are evicting hundreds of thousands of people, probably in the millions, every year. There’s this divergence between what low-income families are making and what they have to pay to keep a roof over their heads and heat in their house. Between 1995 and today, median rent increased by over 70 percent. In the 2000s the cost of fuel jumped by 53 percent.
When you ask people why they were evicted the big reason is nonpayment of rent. They can’t afford to keep a roof over their heads. Utilities are a big part of the story too, while the third leg on the table is the lack of government help with housing. Most Americans think that the typical low-income family lives in public housing or gets housing assistance. The opposite is true. In years where you’ve had a growing gap between incomes and housing costs, only 1 in 4 families that qualifies for housing assistance gets any..."

Why More Americans Are Getting Evicted

The practice used to be rare. Now it’s an epidemic. Matthew Desmond, the author of a landmark new book, explains how it happened.