To explore the eviction process in Hartford we employed three main methodologies…
- Conducting Surveys
To collect data we have conducted a 33 question survey at the Hartford Session at 9:30-11 on Mondays and Tuesdays from February 26, 2018 to April 2, 2018 (35 days). On these days, when deciding who to approach for our study we made sure not to exclude anybody. We approached any person who was sitting in the waiting area of the Housing Court, however, this did lead to us speaking with not only tenants, but landlords and lawyers as well.We’ve constructed this survey based on Matthew Desmond’s “Milwaukee Eviction Court Study”, which we adapted to the Hartford eviction process.
- Using Court Documents
We are also using public court documents as a way to verify reasons for eviction and to obtain background information about people’s individual experiences of the eviction process that were not shared in the survey. Details in these documents can be used to illustrate a story of why eviction process, supplying information from the perspective of both the landlord and tenant.
- Observations of Housing Court Environment
The courthouse environment was interesting; filled with frustration from tenants who must get there at 9:30 in the morning for roll call with no idea of when their case will be called. There were many people of color, as well as people in suits, who we later came to discover were often the landlord’s lawyers.
We used these multiple data sources to answer four main research questions:
- How did individuals come to face eviction?
- What are peoples experiences with the eviction process?
- What do people who are experiencing eviction plan to do after they are evicted? – upon realizing that in many cases a stipulation agreement may have been reached we’re shifting the focus of this question to, If you could not stay in the place you’ve received the eviction notice at, what would your plan be? This will allow us to receive data as opposed to having participants that cannot answer the question.
- Are women and people of color disproportionately experiencing eviction in Hartford?
Although we were able to collect 22 surveys of people present in the court, our survey is not representative of all people in Hartford experiencing an eviction.