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PEW Covid Eviction Project

The purpose of this study is to examine how renters interpret, respond to, and experience eviction moratoria and eviction policy during the COVID 19 pandemic. We will conduct in-depth interviews that will provide critical insight into how renters understood their rights under an eviction moratorium, how it affected their health status and housing stability, and how and for whom moratoria work or do not work to prevent eviction. These interviews will also provide critical information about barriers to basic rights and pathways for increasing access to justice.

This study will recruit participants from three cities in three different states. The investigators have selected Tampa FL, Cleveland OH, and New Haven CT for this project based on the moratoria in these locations. To be eligible for this study participants must be 18 year of age and older, have their name on a lease, and be at risk at eviction (behind on rent or struggling to pay rent) or have experienced an eviction since March of 2020.

This study has the following aims:

  1. to characterize the experiences of renters who are at risk for eviction or who have been evicted since March 2020.
  2. to explore how renters interpret the eviction moratoria and eviction policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. to analyze if these experiences and reactions are felt differently depending on the neighborhood the renter lives in.
This research is funded by PEW Charitable Trust and is a collaboration between the following investigators:
  • Emily Benfer, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University
  • Matthew Desmond, Professor of Sociology, Princeton University; Principal Investigator, The Eviction Lab
  • Peter Hepburn, Asst. Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University-Newark; Statistician & Quantitative Analyst, The Eviction Lab
  • Danya Keene, Associate Professor, Yale School of Public Health