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Matthew Desmond's "Evicted" gets the public's attention--will it catalyze change?

    "Evicted" is all over the news. Author Matthew Desmond has a "hit" on his hands with a new book entitled "Evicted." The book focuses on the lives of poor families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the devastation caused by the constant threat of involuntary displacement and the risk of homelessness.
    RHINO members know that we covered the problem of eviction months ago (with less fanfare). You can read that series here.
    Hopefully Desmond's appearances on national radio, the great reviews and his scheduled appearance at this year's COHHIO conference will help fan the flames for eviction reform.
    You can find links to news stories about "Evicted" here and this week's rhino!UP newsletter has a story on local steps you can take to start working on the issue where you live.

What's News?

NextCity profiles Baltimore Housing Court
Guess what.  Same story for Baltimore tenants-pay up or move.  NextCity says that these no choice options perpetuate bad housing and segregation. "Each courtroom visit, the same complaints are made, the same issues described, and the same ultimatum given: Jennings must pay her rent or risk eviction. Although the conditions of her house are poor — the basement sink had water running for two months straight, paint hangs from her roof and water has settled in the ceilings — Jennings is in no position to negotiate. “You can start talking, but then the judges say, ‘I understand, but we’re here in reference to this rent, do you owe this rent?’ They don’t want to hear whether or not you have any issues, 'Jennings says. “They don’t want none of that'.”

November 8, 2014 Canton Repository Canton addresses eviction
A story in the Canton Repository says: "Evictions remain steady locally. Despite the improving economy, the amount of evictions in western Stark County have remained steady. Officials arlooking for way to keep tenants out of eviction court" The article describes the use of mediation and supportive services to keep a roof over the heads of a family. "Fichter, who hears eviction cases every Wednesday, said these cases are the hardest part of his job. Though, at least when he sends a defendant to jail she has a roof over her head and food to eat. When I evict someone, there may be nowhere to go,' he said. 'A lot of them have young children.' ”