The eviction crisis in the United States is a serious public health issue that affects millions of people each year. The eviction process is regulated by a patchwork of state and local laws and court rules that govern the judicial process, but little is known about the ways in which these laws affect the likelihood of evictions.
Inspired by the "Legal Levers for Health Equity in Housing" report series published by the Center for Public Health Law Research, this webinar series explores the goal of health equity in housing through the lens of laws, policies, and other legal mechanisms to understand how those “levers” may support broad-reaching systems change to establish access to safe, affordable housing in richly diverse and supportive neighborhoods.
This map identifies and displays key features of state, county, and city-level laws governing the residential eviction process in 40 U.S. cities — the 10 largest cities in the four Census regions — in effect as of August 1, 2018.
This draft memo, prepared by Angus Corbett, addresses the question of how local governments can enforce housing codes to enable low-income tenants to live in safe and healthy housing. It reviews the market for low-cost rental housing and provides an outline of the “dynamics” of this market. The memo identifies three models in use for enforcing housing codes: the “deterrence” model, the strategic code enforcement model and a meta-regulation model.
Inclusionary zoning laws can serve as a mechanism to provide more housing opportunities by requiring or incentivizing developers to set aside a certain portion of new developments for affordable housing, and are designed to provide more affordable rental and/or owner-occupied housing for low to moderate-income individuals and families. Developers can sometimes meet the requirement by building affordable units off-site or pay into an affordable housing fund. Incentives for developers include expedited permitting, density bonuses, and zoning variances.
For public health, concerns about nuisance property ordinances are important, both because of the general importance of stable housing to personal and family health and because of the particularly severe consequences of eviction. Although other laws may protect the housing rights of domestic violence survivors, the fact that the main housing laws so rarely protect victims of domestic violence is concerning, purely on the level of legal doctrine and public policy.