Maine Public Digital

Life Unpacked


What Maine Families Face When They're Evicted


Finding An Apartment As A Senior With A Fixed Income


A Day In The Life At Eviction Court

Advocates Weigh In On Solutions To Maine's Eviction Crisis

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Maine Landlords Address Common Misconceptions


‘Eviction: Life Unpacked’ Series Looks At Crisis Facing Maine Renters


Mainers Brave Long Waitlists For Housing Assistance


Evictions in Maine: How and Why They Happen & What Can Be Done

This year, sociologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Matthew Desmond, along with a team of researchers at Princeton University, built and released the first comprehensive database of court-ordered evictions around the country. Using records from cities, counties and municipalities, the research covers evictions that took place from 2000 to 2016 — more than 82 million of them. It underscores what Desmond uncovered with brutal clarity in his book, "Evicted" — that there's an affordable housing crisis in this country that keeps low-income families with children in chronic poverty. Evictions often lead directly to homelessness.

"Eviction: Life Unpacked" follows the effect of evictions on Maine families headed by single moms and on a disabled retiree, how evictions are handled in Eviction Court, the challenge of getting rental assistance and finding any available rentals for families and, finally, we'll hear from a group of landlords about the challenges they face. We'll examine what advocates, tenants and landlords think are possible "solutions" to this crisis.

Maine Public staff members Susan Sharon, Mark Simpson, Keith Shortall, Andrew Catalina, Caitlin Troutman, Rebecca Conley and Barbara Cariddi, and interns Celie Deagle and Lucia Helder, contributed to this project.