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Empowering Indiana Communities with Evictions & Foreclosure Data

SAVI Talks - June 2024

More than 3.5 million U.S. households are threatened with eviction each year, a poignant illustration of rising housing costs. The causes of eviction can be complex, following a synergy of poverty and low wages, rising rent costs, inflation, and drug and mental health challenges for citizens living paycheck to paycheck. Yet, for many individuals, an eviction can be the result of common life occurrences, such middle-income suburban renters facing an unexpected bill or work hours reduced. Evictions have also been rising steadily across Indiana since the end of COVID-19 eviction protections. Evictions are seasonal, often peaking in the summer. Displacement is traumatic for the individuals and families involved and impacts stability and quality of life at all levels personally and for the community.

On Dec. 7, The Polis Center showcased a new statewide tool it developed that will help users better understand trends and relationships between evictions and societal factors. The goal of the tool is to raise awareness of evictions in Indiana and provide a resource to empower communities to instill change. The dashboard features many resources for tenants, researchers, and stakeholders. Benefits include:

  • Users may explore spatial trends of evictions and foreclosures over time at multiple geographic levels in Indiana.
  • Users may examine important associations between socioeconomic variables and evictions data.
  • Users will have the opportunity to provide an anonymous story of their eviction experience on a qualitative data page.

Matt Dietrich, Sr. Research Analyst for Polis presented the tool. Yuliya Panfil, Sr. Fellow and Director of Future of Land and Housing, New America, provided an overview of New America’s work. Experts in the eviction and housing sector served as panelists in a discussion on this important topic. Jill Sheridan, city government and policy reporter for WFYI Public Media, moderated a discussion that included Dr. Patricia de Toledo Basile, Assistant Professor, College of Arts + Sciences, Geography, IU; Patrick Chavis IV, Eviction Diversion Initiative Grant Administrator, Lawrence Township Small Claims Court; Laurin Embry, Director of the Indiana Tenant Association; Mari Luna, community organizer with Patchwork Indy; and Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, Exec. Director of The Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance. Partners in the project included WFYI Public Radio and New America, a “think and action” tank which focuses on equity at the center of its research and policy recommendations.