The Scarlet E -- Brooke Gladstone (On The Media) does eviction in the US
July 1, 2019 9:10 PM   Subscribe

WNYC and On The Media and the Eviction Lab at Princeton University come together for a 4-part series (~170m total) The Scarlet E, about the social and economic problems created by mass eviction as currently experienced in the US. The above page has links for all episodes that include download and transcript links, such as for Part I: Why?
posted by hippybear (13 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
The first three episodes explain mechanics and history and results, but the fourth episode pulls out some possible solutions which make the series less a wallowing in awful and more an education with background.

Also, the episodes can be loaded into a podcast app by finding the feed for On The Media and downloading the 4 episodes for the Scarlet E series.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on July 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

I listened to the first two parts and they were really fantastic. Looking forward to finishing parts 3 and 4.
posted by ropeladder at 5:09 AM on July 2, 2019

This series is excellent so far. I'm on Part 3.

If you don't do podcasts, check out the book by the series' research partner, Matthew Desmond: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. It covers some of the same ground, and is just a really compelling book.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 5:51 AM on July 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

On The Media is very good at what they do.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 6:57 AM on July 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield are goddamn national treasures.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:01 AM on July 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'll have to check this out, sounds very worthwhile. Plus it reminds me of the time Brooke Gladstone made me a present.
posted by slogger at 7:32 AM on July 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

One of the best things Metro DC DSA does is anti-eviction work, landlord courts doubt on tenants not knowing thier rights and not showing up or contesting the eviction as illegal, which most are. Just having someone show up for you can get the case thrown out. Here’s their anti eviction guide!
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM on July 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

increasingly i’m convinced that the landlord/tenant relationship is inherently abusive, and that we should in the end be working to abolish landlordism altogether. no person should have that amount of arbitrary power over another person’s living situation, even if they have papers that say they own the place that person lives.

there are options other than becoming a landlord for people who have made the mistake of becoming landlords. you could, for example, give ownership of the place you claim to the tenants of that place. this may seem like a radical solution, but i remind you that if you are a christian landlord, your god implores you to sell everything you own and give it to the poor.

if you’re not ready for a christian solution, you could remove some of the inherent abusiveness of the role you’ve taken on by converting the place you claim ownership over to a co-op model, wherein the people paying you to live in their homes acquire equity in their homes as they pay.

landlords: you have options. you can become useful contributors to society rather than living as parasites. the choice is yours.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:21 AM on July 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

Housing is a right not a commodity and all that
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on July 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

Listening to the first episode, I am so utterly grateful for the protections we currently* have in Ontario as renters. They could be better, but at least they are there: limits on rent increases on older properties, requirement for landlords to go to an arbitrator to get an eviction - and it's a long, involved process. I've heard from people working the legal side that the arbiters have their own biases (some in favour of tenants, some in favour of landlords), but the principal of the law is that the tenant is the more vulnerable party and that the law is primarily for their protection.

I'm also privileged in that I have a social network that includes paralegals. When my friend was recently threatened by her landlord (on spurious grounds - they want her out of her mostly-rent controlled unit), we were able to ask another friend for advice.

For those who don't have this help, I highly recommend the The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations (FMTA)'s Guide to Tenant Rights and other resources. They are Toronto-based, but the law is provincial. Their guide is also available in multiple languages.

*Knock on wood, please don't let the PC's notice that most of the Residential Tenancies Act is still in force.

But in general, I agree: we must absolutely have a sector of the housing market that is outside of the market. Safe, adequate housing should be a human right - and the market never provides for those. I grew up in public housing: it wasn't ideal, but it was cleaner than some private housing my family has lived in, and - most importantly - it was secure. No matter what happened to our income, we had a home.
posted by jb at 10:20 AM on July 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I heard the whole thing on "On the Media" and it was great. At the same time I was following that, I was hearing discussions of reparations to the descendants of slaves, and this series went a long way to justifying why that's a reasonable idea.
posted by acrasis at 3:24 PM on July 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

I grew up in public housing: it wasn't ideal, but it was cleaner than some private housing my family has lived in, and - most importantly - it was secure. No matter what happened to our income, we had a home.

one of the things that stood out to me was how public housing worked well, up until republicans defunded it.

another thing that struck me was desmond wondering 'how much is enough' on the price of housing and what it would take to build more -- to lower prices. there are a lot of things standing in its way, but he seemed to be a fan of increasing supply by any means necessary.

on that note...
-Oregon Is Adopting the Most Important Housing Reform in America
-Oregon Becomes First State to Ditch Single-Family Zoning
-California's regulatory code for housing is too strict

also btw: matthew desmond previously
posted by kliuless at 3:15 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

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