New Article: Deena Greenberg, Carl Gershenson & Matthew Desmond, Discrimination in Evictions: Empirical Evidence and Legal Challenges, 116 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 115 (2016). Abstract below:
Tens of thousands of housing discrimination complaints are filed each year. Although there has been extensive study of discrimination in the rental market, discrimination in evictions has been largely overlooked. This is because determining whether discrimination exists in evictions presents several challenges. Not only do landlords typically have a non-discriminatory reason for evictions (e.g., nonpayment), but they also wield tremendous discretion over eviction decisions—discretion that can be informed by conscious or unconscious bias against a protected group. Detecting discrimination in evictions, moreover, poses a number of challenges that conventional methods of assessing housing discrimination are ill-suited to address. This Article is among the first to empirically investigate racial and ethnic discrimination in eviction decisions. It does so by drawing on the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, a novel observational study of 1,086 rental households. Statistical analyses reveal that among tenants at risk of eviction, Hispanic tenants in predominantly white neighborhoods were roughly twice as likely to be evicted as those in predominantly non-white neighborhoods. Hispanic tenants were also more likely to get evicted when they had a non-Hispanic landlord. This Article discusses possible explanations for these findings and evaluates legal and policy solutions for addressing discrimination in the eviction process.
News Coverage: Michelle Chen, How Banks Stole Homes From the Most Vulnerable New Yorkers, The Nation, July 15, 2016.
New Report: Richard Reeves, Edward Rodrigue, and Elizabeth Kneebone, “Five evils: Multidimensional poverty and race in America” (Brookings 2016).
New Article: The Concentration of Poverty in American Schools – The Atlantic
New Article: Jonathan Zasloff, The Secret History of the Fair Housing Act, 53 Harv. J. on Leg. 247 (2016).
(Self-Promotion) New Articles: Ezra Rosser, Destabilizing Property, 48 CONN. L. REV. 397 (2015). Abstract below:
Property theory has entered into uncertain times. Conservative and progressive scholars are, it seems, fiercely contesting everything, from what is at the core of property to what obligations owners owe society. Fundamentally, the debate is about whether property law works. Conservatives believe that property law works. Progressives believe property law could and should work, though it needs to be made more inclusive. While there have been numerous responses to the conservative emphasis on exclusion, this Article begins by addressing a related line of argument, the recent attacks information theorists have made on the bundle of rights conception of property. This Article goes on to make two main contributions to the literature: it gives a new critique of progressive property and, more fundamentally, shows how distribution challenges in property call for a third path forward. Conservative scholarship is scholarship for property, defending traditional views of property against the influence of new realist-inspired deconstruction. Progressive scholarship works with property, showing how doctrine supports expanding property law to reach those who would otherwise be excluded. But missing from this debate is the possibility that, instead of working for or with property, the rise in inequality and the calcification of advantages defined at birth of the current economic and legal environment calls for work against property. Expanding the range of answers to the broad questions being asked of property to include deliberately destabilizing property would add to the academic debate and to the possible policy responses to the emerging threat of oligarchy. Working for, with, and against property are all answers to the question of how to respond to the property crisis of our time, the problem of inequality. This Article seeks to give some content to the neglected against portion of the spectrum.
and Ezra Rosser, The Political Possibilities of Reparations, 1 LAW & SOCIAL INQUIRY FORUM 20 (2015).