Evictions not only put poor families out on the streets, but simultaneously set off a cascade of consequences for both the people and neighborhoods affected. In his new book, “Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City,” University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and Harvard University sociology professor Matthew Desmond examines how this process plays out for families and landlords in Milwaukee’s lowest-income neighborhoods.
In a March 4 interview on Wisconsin Public Television’s “Here and Now,” Desmond explained how he frames eviction as both a symptom and a cause of poverty — much like other sociologists have framed incarceration, unemployment, and other problems that disproportionately afflict the poor. As he told WPT’s Frederica Freyberg, 1 in 5 black women renters in Milwaukee reports having been evicted at some point in her lifetime. It’s a problem that’s grown not only more common, but also more complex.