Evicted Discussion

Week 1 Evicted Discussion

From Matthew Desmond’s Evicted, please read pp. 1-43 (Prologue + ch. 1-3). Then post a 250-word response about what fascinated or interested you from the reading and why. Be specific, nuanced, and cite the page numbers from the text.

Next, please respond to one of your peers’ posts. Start off by introducing yourself and saying hi! Then feel free to add insight, to ask questions, to (respectfully) agree or disagree, to further explore a point raised by your peer, or to make a connection to other parts of the text or something outside the text. We are opening up a scholarly conversation!

And then reply:

When reading the prologue, I had not expected the first few chapters to revolve around the landlord, Sherrena Tarver, as opposed to Arleen, Jori, and Jafaris. I think that the author was really smart in getting the landlords point of view on the situations they have to deal with, as landlords are often seen as heartless people who just care about the money. I do not believe this is the case with Sherrena because although she is focused on taking care of her life, she makes sure to help those who really need it. It was also saddening to read that just because the door was kicked down, Arleen and her two boys had to find another place to live. However, this made a bit of sense when I later read that “there are other ways, cheaper and quicker ways, for landlords to remove a family than through court order” and one of them is when a landlord will remove the front door purposely (4). I am still confused as to why this was legal and how it works. Is it because without a front door, the house can be considered as no longer a house and just property? Maybe this makes it easier for landlords to kick out the tenants because they would technically be trespassing if there is no formal lease and no “house.” Another aspect of reading the book that caught my attention and surprised me was the fact that when Sherrena was at the Milwaukee Real Estate Investors Networking Group meeting, and the topic of asbestos was brought up in which “one landlord asked whether he would have to report the presence of asbestos to the city or the tenants if he tested for it” in which the answer was no (29). I was in shock reading that because asbestos is a serious problem and while I knew that the living conditions for the poor were bad, I did not know that in some places, tenants did not know of hidden dangers that they were subject to because the landlords kept it from them.

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