February 21, 2019
A team of University of Washington researchers including eScience postdoctoral fellow Timothy A. Thomas, Ott Toomet, Ian Kennedy, and Alex Ramiller, has released a report titled “The state of evictions: results from the University of Washington Evictions Project” as a living website that will be frequently updated with their work: https://evictions.study.
Washington is in the midst of an eviction crisis that is devastating communities of color. The team finds that one in six black adults in Pierce County (17%) were evicted over five years, while one in 11 black adults were evicted in King County. Given this issue, the team believes that evictions are not only a mechanism leading to homelessness, but a civil rights issue as well.
Key takeaways from the report include the following statistics:
- One in 55 Washington adults were evicted in five years
- Only 8% of defendants had legal representation
- Washington lost 91,000 affordable fair market rental units since 2000, 85% of which were lost since 2012
- A King County household has to make $90,000 after taxes to avoid rent burden (giving more than 30% of your income to rent)
This work is currently motivating several policies in committee at the state capital of Olympia, Washington. Feel free to reach out with any questions to Timothy Thomas by email at t77 (@) uw.edu.
This story has been covered by the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology and the following media outlets:
- KUOW: One in 11 black residents were evicted from the Seattle area since 2004, researchers say
- Seattle Met: New study shows the racial impact of Washington’s housing crisis
- KOMO News: Evictions, rent spikes contribute to Washington’s homelessness crisis, study finds
- KOMO News: Tiki tenants take their new influence to Olympia
- The Daily: UW research shows women and racial minorities disproportionately face evictions in Washington state
- The Sequim Gazette: House talks housing: tenants, landlords remain divided
- The Goldendale Sentinel: Bill would change tenant eviction process
This work has been supported and funded by the Cascadia Urban Analytic Collective and Bill Howe, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Washington Research Foundation, and Enterprise Community Partners.