Goodspeed and Dewar Receive Grant to Study State's High Eviction Rate

Two urban and regional planning faculty at Taubman College, Assistant Professor Robert Goodspeed and Professor Emerita Margaret Dewar, were awarded a grant to study data on evictions in Michigan. The project, “Michigan Evictions: Assessing Data Sources and Exploring Determinants,” is a partnership with the Michigan Advocacy Program, which provides free or low-cost access to the justice system through direct legal help and statewide advocacy. The project will receive funding through the 2019 Community-Academic Research Partnerships Grant Program, Research on Strategies to Prevent and Alleviate Poverty in Michigan — sponsored Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan and the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center.

Each year, tens of thousands of Michigan households lose their homes as a result of court-ordered evictions, and Michigan cities have some of the highest eviction rates in the nation. The goal of Goodspeed and Dewar’s project is to analyze available data to better understand the prevalence, patterns, and causes of evictions in Michigan, and inform decisions by social services, legal services, and policymakers to address the problem — while also contributing to the growing national research literature on the topic.

The project has three primary aims:

1. Evaluate the quality of data obtained from the Eviction Lab and state and local court records by comparing them in three illustrative counties.

2. Conduct an exploratory analysis of determinants of eviction statewide using Eviction Lab Data at the census block group level.

3. Provide recommendations for the further development of policies and programs to reduce evictions in Michigan, as well as recommendations for improved data collection and analysis.

Poverty Solutions is a U-M institute that encourages multidisciplinary solutions to alleviating poverty through solution-focused partnerships and funding for research. Poverty Solutions collaborates with the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center, a health equity participatory research group, to provide funding for research into various aspects of poverty in the United States. Dewar and Goodspeed’s project is one of nine that has been awarded funding through the 2019 Poverty Solutions grant.