Forced Out: Race, Market, and Neighborhood Dynamics of Evictions

Tim Thomas
Thomas, Timothy A. 2017. "Forced Out: Race, Market, and Neighborhood Dynamics of Evictions." PhD Dissertation. Department of Sociology, University of Washington.
Kyle Crowder (Chair), Thaisa Way (GSR), Stewart E. Tolnay, Nathalie E. Williams.

Research on evictions highlights the hardships that low-income families face through structural constraints of stagnant wages failing to meet monthly rent. This area of study expands our understanding of the reproduction of urban poverty and improves urban sociological scholarship by examining households that do not move by choice, but are forced out. While this field of research has focused mostly on household-level dynamics, there has not been an extensive ecological evaluation on the broader metropolitan and neighborhood-level effects that contribute to the geographic concentration of evictions. This dissertation bridges that gap by analyzing neighborhood ethno- racial compositions, socioeconomics, and housing market dynamics related to evictions in King County, WA. Results show that neighborhood racial diversity, higher poverty, affordable housing, and market demand predict higher rates of evictions. Nearby neighborhood effects, such as low-rent and low-poverty, has a large impact on local eviction rates. Furthermore, neighborhoods that saw increases in Black and Latino populations and declines in education and new movers over time also see higher rates of eviction. This study highlights how place-based racial and economic inequality is shaped by the history of the political economy of the region, segregation, and housing exclusion that produced the contemporary eviction concentrations we see today.