January 28, 2021

Eviction Bans Saved Lives During the Pandemic, New Research Says

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

A new working paper from researchers at Duke University has found that policies that secured access to housing and utilities like water and electricity played a major role in preventing COVID-19 infections and deaths.

Co-author Kay Jowers, senior policy associate at the Nicholas Institute, told The Appeal that research shows not being able to pay utility bills is the first signal that a household could be at risk of eviction. She noted that in some municipalities, utility cutoffs can act as a de facto eviction because some states and municipalities require running water or other utilities to be active for a home to be deemed inhabitable.

“This shows how important it is to public health that we have access to housing and water and electricity overall,” Jowers said.

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