Public Policy Forum Features 2015 MacArthur Fellow Matthew Desmond

US Senator Cory Booker to Join Matthew Desmond in Conversation about Eviction as a Critical Public Policy Issue

On Thursday, October 12, 2017, join Monarch Housing, NJ Policy Perspective, the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, the Anti-Poverty Network of NJ, the Supportive Housing Association of NJ, Bridges Outreach, the Mental Health Association in NJ, the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, Homeless Solutions and the Drew University Center for Civic Engagement for a Public Policy Forum with Matthew Desmond, Author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, and US Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D.)

The forum will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Concert Hall at Drew University in Madison, NJ. The Public Policy Forum is underwritten by a grant from the Investors Foundation.

Register Online for the Forum

Registration is required and the cost for the forum is $10 per person. Only 400 seats are available for this timely and important public policy forum.

Matthew Desmond was a 2015 MacArthur fellow. Desmond is an urban sociologist revealing the impact of eviction on poor families and the role of housing policy in sustaining poverty and racial inequality in larger American cities.

In a September 28, 2015 video that interviewed Desmond and was produced by the MacArthur Foundation. Desmond said, “America is unmatched by any developed democracy for the depth and extent of its poverty, but it’s also not inevitable.”

Desmond succinctly explained his work, “I study poverty in America at the ground level so I’m an ethnographer, which means if I want to understand a problem or a community, I spend as much time with those folks or in that community as I can”

To study eviction in Milwaukee, Desmond moved into a trailer park and then rented a room in a rooming house in the inner city – spend months in both places. He met those involved in both sides of the eviction crisis – renter families and

Desmond described a goal of his work to “Formulate a new picture of poverty and housing in the American city today”

And he highlighted the devastating effects that eviction can have on families. Families who experience eviction:

  • Lose their homes & communities
  • Have children who lose their schools,
  • Lose possessions, and
  • Lose employment.

Said Desmond, “When I started this project, I thought that job loss would be a big cause of eviction and it is. But eviction is also a big cause of job loss. It’s a consuming, stressful event that can really compromise people’s work performance and it often kind of leads them to be fired.”

The concerning problem of eviction is closely tied to our country’s affordable housing crisis.

“The majority of poor renters spend at least 50% of their income on housing costs and at least 1 in 4 poor renting families spend 70% of their income on housing costs.”

But Desmond gave us reason to realize that the eviction crisis can be ended. “There’s a lot of hope and there’s a lot of capacity to do something major about this problem, and I think we as a country are having a national conversation about inequality and about justice and about really asking hard questions …”

Register Online for the Forum

The October 12 event provides an opportunity to:

  • Listen to a dialogue with Mathew Desmond and Senator Cory Booker about the state of housing in NJ and nationally
  • Ask questions of both Mathew Desmond and Senator Cory Booker
  • Hear from Desmond about his research and his possible solutions
  • Engage in solutions address the eviction crisis
  • Network with fellow advocates and discuss solutions to the eviction crisis
  • Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers.

For more information read our previous post on the forum.

Follow the event on Twitter with the hashtag #EvictionNJForum

Register Online for the Forum

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

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