Mitigating Eviction Risk for Residents in the City of Dallas

Child Poverty Action Lab

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This project is focused on understanding which communities in Dallas are disproportionately affected by eviction and how eviction is associated with various aspects of people and place. Analysis will help shape a strategy to support more Dallas families upstream of an eviction -- i.e., to help them find financial stability in advance of a crisis event.

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This project is being scoped

Project scope

Project goal(s)

Goal #1: Minimize the number of people who are evicted from their homes in Dallas.

Goal #2: Maximize the number of people that can be assisted with eviction-related risk mitigation funds.

Interventions and Actions

The City of Dallas and other agencies, nonprofit organizations, and faith-based institutions maintain risk mitigation funds - money available for families in need of financial assistance (for rent, mortgage, food, utility payments, etc.). These funds are often depleted very quickly and are administered on a first-come, first-served basis. Very little data exists on the efficacy of risk mitigation funds in Dallas and how families fare in the long-run after they've received money. Analysis from this project can help shape a more strategic and intentional effort to support families who face housing instability. In particular, we hope to reconsider how to best deploy risk mitigation funds and how to support families to achieve long-term financial stability as opposed to a temporal fix.

Data

(1) Eviction records: An open records request is currently in process to obtain eviction filing and eviction records in Dallas County from 2017 - 2020 (through March). The records will be provided at the case level and will be associated with the specific address where the eviction took place. The Eviction Lab, a project at Princeton University, has publicly-available eviction records from 2000-2016 for Dallas County, aggregated at the census block level. (2) Demographic data can be obtained publicly via the American Community Survey. (3) Student mobility data: Records of student mobility are available at the campus level through the Texas Education Agency through the 2018-19 school year. Attributes include the count and percent of mobility for all students and is also broken out by race/ethnicity. (4) Real estate transaction data: Data for multifamily complexes (e.g., property characteristics, sale history, etc.) is available via CoStar.

Analysis Needed

To achieve the stated goals, we are looking for an understanding at a very granular level regarding where evictions are taking place and what variables might be associated with eviction (e.g., race/ethnicity, household income, household size, single-parent versus two-parent household, real estate transactions like sales, etc.). We are also interested in analysis that might help CPAL and the City of Dallas understand how to best deploy a limited amount of risk mitigation funds in order to have the greatest impact.

Implementation

After the project is finished, CPAL and the City of Dallas plan to convene and collaborate with partners across the city to use the data for the development and implementation of a plan to support more families upstream of a crisis housing event, like an eviction. We also hope to draw on lessons learned from other cities -- e.g., Stable Homes Stable Schools in Minneapolis -- for cross-agency collaboration to support families most in need.

Scope version notes