The hidden health costs of eviction

Research increasingly shows housing insecurity takes an enormous toll on people’s health. William Brangham reports from Richmond, which has the nation’s second-highest eviction rate.

News Story, Video (Virginia)

William Brangham
PBS News Hour
January 13, 2020

Tags: Health Care, Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Central Virginia Legal Aid Society


William Brangham:

Martin Wegbreit is an attorney at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, a nonprofit that represents and advocates for low-income tenants. He says Richmond’s eviction rate spiked for many reasons

Martin Wegbreit:

We have a shortage of affordable housing. We have a poverty rate of 25 percent in the city. We have gentrification. We have a history of racial segregation, state-sponsored racial segregation. So it’s all of those factors combined.

William Brangham:

Virginia has long been considered a friendly state for landlords, with a host of laws that make it cheap, quick and relatively easy to evict tenants.

Martin Wegbreit:

The filing fee to file an eviction lawsuit in Virginia is $58. By comparison, in Alabama, it’s $250.