The Scarlet E – Unmasking America’s Eviction Epidemic

This podcast is a series devoted to explaining the affordable housing crisis and how we got here. The crux of what has happened is that the model of creating affordable housing has basically ended – instead a model that allows for the extraction of wealth from people who earn the least wages has been allowed to flourish. There has been a surge in building rental units, but not in building affordable homeownership. If we are to change this, those who provide financing have to be held accountable. The big banks were saved in the 2008 financial crisis. As a society, we said “they’re too big to let fail“; so why are we so ready to let ourselves fail? Greater Mattapan does not have to go this way. We can produce a model that is better than what has been already served. Affordable homeownership can be a realistic goal. We are the market force.

Episode 1: “Why?”
We hear the story of Jeffrey, a security guard whose hours were inconsistent, whose rent burden was beyond severe, and whose family now lives in a two-bed hotel room in Richmond, Virginia. And we meet our partner in this project, Matt Desmond — Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, and founder of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. Brooke and Matt hash out what we know and what we only think we know about the forces that drive eviction.