The Providence Journal reports new data from the Eviction Lab at Princeton University shows elevated eviction rates in the Ocean State. There were 5,069 evictions in Rhode Island in 2016 and 1,580 in its capital city.
The lab's principal investigator, Matthew Desmond, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017 for his book, "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City," which argued eviction was a cause, not a consequence, of poverty in America.
Providence's eviction rate, 3.82 percent, was No. 75 in the national rankings . The city had an average of 4.33 evictions every day. It was one of just five New England cities to make the list, trailing behind four Connecticut cities with higher rates.
Rhode Island's eviction rate, 3.07 percent, was slightly higher than Connecticut's 3.04 percent, but the lab cautions Connecticut's statistics could be underestimated.
Brenda Clement, director of HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University, told the Journal there were a couple factors behind Rhode Island's high rates, including a lack of access to free legal assistance and less state support for housing in general.
"The numbers are shocking," Clement said.
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