In May of 2019, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) held a multimedia release event for “The Illusion of Choice: Evictions and Profit in North Minneapolis” research project that included a presentation, a video telling the stories of tenants and landlords in North Minneapolis, an art installation with photos that explore the phases of eviction, and an illustrative simulation developed with the Juxta Art Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) team called the “Social Service Runaround.” Evictions are a social crisis in North Minneapolis caused by decades of housing discrimination, urban disinvestment, and unfair lending practices. This research project went beyond the data to tell the story of the evictions crisis through qualitative research interviews with both North Minneapolis landlords and tenants.
As a result of this report, CURA Senior Researcher Dr. Brittany Lewis testified at the Minnesota State Legislature on behalf of the Eviction Expungement Reform Bill (HF 1511). The testimony utilized CURA’s primary source evictions data for a bill that would give judges and referees much more flexibility and discretion under Minnesota’s current eviction expungement statutes and allow for easier and quicker expungements. Additionally, Dr. Brittany Lewis was appointed to several councils and committees, including the first ever Minneapolis Housing Advisory Council, the City of Minneapolis Conduct on Premise Committee, the City of Minneapolis Renter’s Bill of Rights Committee, and the North Point Health and Wellness Eviction Pilot Project Committee.
University of Minnesota Leaders: Brittany Lewis, CURA Senior Researcher; and Graduate Research Assistants Molly Calhoun, Cynthia Matthias, Kya Concepcion, Thalya Reyes, Eleanor Noble, and Giselle Tisdale
Community Partners: Alliance Housing, Inc, City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, HOME Line, InquilinXs UnidXs por Justicia, Juxtaposition Arts, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Minnesota Housing Partnership, and the State of Minnesota.