- Double Issue: The Rental Assistance Demonstration | The Hispanic Housing Experience in the United States
- Volume 23 Number 2
- Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
- Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
Estimating the Prevalence of Eviction in the United States: New Data from the 2017 American Housing Survey
The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
The American Housing Survey (AHS), administered biennially by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is the most comprehensive source of data on U.S. housing conditions. In 2017, a new set of questions was added to expand the measurement of forced displacement among renter households. Forced moves, particularly eviction, are an increasing concern as renters’ housing costs have risen while incomes have stagnated and federal housing assistance has not been expanded (Desmond, 2015). The new questions, adapted from the Milwaukee Area Renters Study (MARS), measure several types of forced moves among households who rented their previous residence, including forced moves not captured in administrative records. Administrative court records are an important source of data for formal eviction lawsuits, but they do not capture forced moves involving landlords incentivizing or coercing tenants to vacate rental properties without relying on the legal authority of the courts (Hartman and Robinson, 2003). Previous data from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, indicated that these “informal evictions” are twice as common as formal, court-ordered evictions, underscoring the importance of capturing these moves in estimates of forced displacement (Desmond and Shollenberger, 2015).
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