Matthew Desmond

– Read 5 Different Chapter from Matthew Desmond: Evicted-Poverty and Profit in the American City (PDF)
– There are 4 different parts of questions.
– No need outside references

Please answer the following questions from “Evicted”. Each question is tied to at least one chapter – the title of each relevant chapter is included in bold to help you focus your reading time.

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CH5. Thirteenth Street.

What benefits do landlords like Sherrena receive when they rent to tenants who have housing vouchers? Why do some tenants who spend more than 30% of their income on housing receive assistance while others do not? How do landlords like Sherrena and Tobin benefit financially from the Fair Market Rent set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development? How does this program bring large gains to landlords? How does it prevent gains in racial and economic integration?

CH8. Christmas in Room 400.

Why do you think 90% of landlords are represented by attorneys in housing courts while 90% of tenants are not? What would you do if you were facing eviction and in need of legal assistance? Do you think attorneys should be provided to low-income tenants at no cost?

CH7. The Sick & CH20. Nobody Wants the North Side.

List six ways the housing rental market contributes to cycles of poverty, incarceration, and homelessness. How does the process of screening tenants lead to a “geography of advantage and disadvantage” (page 89)? How can landlord decisions impact neighbourhood characteristics like schools, crime rates, and levels of civic engagement? How can a criminal background or history of past evictions impact a person’s ability to rent a property? Do you think a tenant should have to disclose this information? Why or why not?

Epilogue: Home and Hope.

Why do you think there is so much research on public housing and other housing policies but very little research on the private rental market? What solutions to the lack of affordable housing does Desmond propose? Do you have other ideas for how this issue could be addressed in your community? For more information on Matthew Desmond check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Desmond

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