Home Eviction and Housing Instability
Home eviction and housing instability are some of the direst challenges Americans are facing today. Contextually, about four evictions are filed per minute in the United States. It then means that close to 2.3 million families in the country face the risk of losing their homes. Even with these facts, it is difficult to find real data about home evictions and housing instability. To explicate the issue in-depth, it is critical to explore the definitions of home eviction and housing instability. In its most comprehensive definition, the process by which a property owner legally removes a renter from their property. In most cases, the renter is removed from the property because they are not able to meet the expenses associated with staying in the landlord’s house. Housing instability does not have any standard definition and can take myriad forms, including spending a significant percentage of household income on housing, staying with relatives, frequently moving, overcrowding, and having trouble paying rent. These problems have become so entrenched in society today that policymakers are looking into ways with which victims can be cushioned from the suffering they are experiencing.
There are a host of social, economic, and political factors associated with home eviction and housing instability. At its core, it should be noted that low-income women of color face the highest risk of being victims of home evictions and housing instability. It then means that the victims of such incidences are disproportionate to a particular demographic. Despite the weight of the issue, there has been minimal research, which makes it difficult for relevant agencies to have taken appropriate action while championing the welfare of those affected the most. Losing a home is a traumatic experience that often has detrimental impacts on the mental health of an individual. For someone to be evicted, it means they are facing financial issues. When these issues are compounded with the loss of homes, it is easy for an individual to fall into depression. Housing instability and home evictions are particularly harsh on children as it leads to undesirable outcomes in education, health, and future earnings. In essence, children who have experienced the challenge at one point in their lives are less likely to prosper in the future compared to those who have not.
Poverty is one of the most significant factors in home evictions and housing instability. Essentially, a large number of eviction cases happen in low-income neighborhoods where the standards of living are generally lower than in other parts of the country. Tokarz et al. (2010) reveals that more than 70% of households experiencing evictions are severely burdened by the cost of living. In actuality, these individuals can hardly afford meals, let alone housing. Thus, it is authoritative to mention that the families that are most vulnerable to this evictions may not have enough income left to cover for other basic needs including food and healthcare. Housing problems can be traced to the rising gap become renter income and the cost of rental property (Tokarz, et al., 2020). In essence, the income of renters has experienced a decrease over the past few decades. At the same time, the costs of rental property has shot substantially over the same period, something that has caused jitters among families in low-income neighborhoods. As mentioned in an earlier section, women of color form the largest number of victims, perhaps because they are the lowest in terms of earnings. For instance, a Wisconsin research revealed that women of color form 30% of eviction cases even though they form only 9l.6% of the population (Burgard, Seefeldt, & Zelner, 2012). On a national scale, 20% of black women and 8% of Latinos are evicted yearly. Since these demographics make up a small percentage of the national population, the statistics highlighted above are an indicator of how dire the situation is.
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