This important book follows landlords and tenants on the lowest end of the population of Milwaukee. It could borrow the title of Joseph Heller's Catch-22, but it's not fictional comedy--it's all-too-real tragedy. Among the catches: A money-strapped tenant is finally ready to get caught up on the rent, but the landlord has decided to make way for a new tenant and evicts the old one. Renters complain about a backed-up sink and, instead of fixing it, the landlord blames it on the tenants and evicts them. One tenant takes in another who has been evicted, is found out by the landlord and--yes, evicted. The landlords have a lot to put up with as well, with deadbeat renters and property damage. Author Desmond gets in close on both sides and relates the tales without hyperbole. (The hyperbole is already built in to the lives of these struggling citizens.) This book will change your perspective on poverty and housing situations in America in the 21st Century.
A Harvard sociologist examines the challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.