Found 17 article(s) for author 'Matthew Desmond'

Do the Poor Pay More for Housing? Exploitation, Profit, and Risk in Rental Markets

Do the Poor Pay More for Housing? Exploitation, Profit, and Risk in Rental Markets. Matthew Desmond, 2019, Paper, “This article examines tenant exploitation and landlord profit margins within residential rental markets. Defining exploitation as being overcharged relative to the market value of a property, the authors find exploitation of tenants to be highest in poor neighborhoods. Landlords in poor neighborhoods also extract higher profits from housing units. Property values and tax burdens are considerably lower in depressed residential areas, but rents are not. Because landlords operating in poor communities face more risks, they hedge their position by raising rents on all tenants, carrying the weight of social structure into price. Since losses are rare, landlords typically realize the surplus risk charge as higher profits. Promoting a relational approach to the analysis of inequality, this study demonstrates how the market strategies of landlords contribute to high rent burdens in low-income neighborhoods.Link

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Poverty in America: New Directions and Debates

Poverty in America: New Directions and Debates. Matthew Desmond, Bruce Western, July 2018, Paper, “Reviewing recent research on poverty in the United States, we derive a conceptual framework with three main characteristics. First, poverty is multidimensional, compounding material hardship with human frailty, generational trauma, family and neighborhood violence, and broken institutions. Second, poverty is relational, produced through connections between the truly advantaged and the truly disadvantaged. Third, a component of this conceptual framework is transparently normative, applying empirical research to analyze poverty as a matter of justice, not just economics. Throughout, we discuss conceptual, methodological, and policy-relevant implications of this perspective on the study of extreme disadvantage in America.Link

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Heavy Is the House: Rent Burden among the American Urban Poor

Heavy Is the House: Rent Burden among the American Urban Poor. Matthew Desmond, January 2018, Paper, “During the past decade, the incomes of poor Americans have fallen or flat-lined, housing costs have soared and public policy has failed to bridge the gap. As a result, the majority of poor renting families in America now devote at least half of their income to covering housing costs, and eviction has become a common yet consequential event in their lives. While housing is central to the lives of the urban poor, it remains marginal to the sociology of American inequality. This essay begins by charting the growing rent burden among low-income households, and then draws on the unique contributions of Pierre Bourdieu to the study of the home to sketch an agenda for analyzing the roots and implications of the loss of affordable urban housing, a prerequisite for offering policy prescriptions.Link

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Poverty Rooted In Evictions, Lack Of Affordable Housing

Poverty Rooted In Evictions, Lack Of Affordable Housing. Matthew Desmond, November 16, 2016, Audio, “Eviction is not a condition of poverty; eviction causes poverty. That’s according to Matthew Desmond. He’s a sociologist at Harvard and he just wrote the book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” In it, Desmond says poor families are more susceptible to evictions. Evictions force kids out of schools, parents from jobs and families into worse neighborhoods.Link

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Are Landlords Overcharging Housing Voucher Holders?

Are Landlords Overcharging Housing Voucher Holders? Matthew Desmond, June 26, 2016, Paper. “The structure of rental markets coupled with the design of the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), the largest federal housing subsidy for low-income families in the United States, provides the opportunity to overcharge voucher holders. Applying hedonic regression models to a unique data set of Milwaukee renters combined with administrative records, we find that vouchered households are charged between $51 and $68 more in monthly rent than unassisted renters in comparable units and neighborhoods. Overcharging voucher holders costs taxpayers an estimated $3.8 million each year in Milwaukee alone, the equivalent of supplying 620 additional families in that city with housing assistance. These findings suggest that the HCVP could be made more cost-effective—and therefore more expansive—if overcharging were prevented.Link

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‘Here And Now’: Matthew Desmond Explores Milwaukee’s Eviction Epidemic

‘Here And Now’: Matthew Desmond Explores Milwaukee’s Eviction Epidemic. Matthew Desmond, March 7, 2016, Video. “Evictions not only put poor families out on the streets, but simultaneously set off a cascade of consequences for both the people and neighborhoods affected. In his new book, “Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City,” University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and Harvard University sociology professor Matthew Desmond examines how this process plays out for families and landlords in Milwaukee’s lowest-income neighborhoods.Link

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The Eviction Economy

The Eviction Economy. Matthew Desmond, March 5, 2016, Opinion, “I first met Larraine when we both lived in a trailer park on the far South Side of Milwaukee. Fifty-four, with silvering brown hair, Larraine loved mystery novels, “So You Think You Can Dance” and doting on her grandson. Even though she lived in a mobile home park with so many code violations that city inspectors called it an “environmental biohazard,” she kept a tidy trailer and used a hand steamer on the curtains. But Larraine spent more than 70 percent of her income on housing — just as one in four of all renting families who live below the poverty line do. After paying the rent, she was left with $5 a day.Link

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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Matthew Desmond, March 2016, Book. “From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America.  In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.Link

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Housing and Employment Insecurity among the Working Poor

Housing and Employment Insecurity among the Working Poor. Matthew Desmond, February 2016, Paper. “While social scientists have documented severe consequences of job loss, scant research investigates why workers lose their jobs. We explore the role of housing insecurity in actuating employment insecurity, investigating if workers who involuntarily lose their homes subsequently involuntarily lose their jobs. Analyzing novel survey data of predominately low-income working renters, we find the likelihood of being laid off to be between 11 and 22 percentage points higher for workers who experienced a preceding forced move, compared to observationally identical workers who did not. Our findings suggest that initiatives promoting housing stability could promote employment stability.Link

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