On November 17, 2022 at 12pm, the Housing Solutions for Health Equity initiative formally launched and hosted its first virtual event. The event, titled "A public health crisis, not a property dispute: Learning from COVID-19 eviction response measures in Detroit" brings three eminent housing researchers and activists to discuss eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Alexa Eisenberg, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan
Tonya Myers Phillips, Director of Community Partnerships & Development at the Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice in Detroit
Dr. Margaret Dewar, Professor Emerita of the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Michigan will moderate the discussion and Q&A
Pandemic eviction response measures sought to prevent a wave of housing loss that would have exacerbated the spread of COVID-19, but also stood to disrupt a status quo of mass eviction that systematically harms Black women and children. This talk will discuss trends in eviction filings and outcomes since the onset of the pandemic and related policy changes in Detroit, using a novel eviction court process dataset. The pandemic period has shown that new levels of eviction prevention are attainable when policymakers treat eviction like a public health crisis rather than a property dispute. Yet even with unprecedented eviction prevention measures in place, major policy and enforcement gaps reinforced the power imbalance between landlords and tenants and contributed to thousands of unjust and avoidable evictions. As eviction filings return to pre-pandemic levels and rents across the U.S. soar to new highs, elected officials, housing advocates, and organizers can learn from and act upon evidence from Detroit to promote housing and health justice, during the pandemic and beyond.
Watch the recording here: