Governance: Eviction, Housing, and Advocacy in Localized Systems

Daniel Pasciuti, Georgia State University
Joy Dillard-Appel, Georgia State University

This paper examines a longitudinal case study for understanding the uneven processes of decentralized governance and practice with respect to housing issues in Magistrate Courts, findings reveal two important themes: first, federal and state level moratoria and exceptions failed to protect most tenants from experiencing eviction. Despite initial confusion and closure when the pandemic began, most courts in Georgia continued to operate, resulting in little to no backlog in dispossessory cases when eviction moratoria ended. Second, findings show that the COVID-19 pandemic did not initiate a new housing crisis, but instead exacerbated existing precarity in housing justice in the United States, galvanizing advocates, and inspiring efforts to fight against the forces that drive eviction and homelessness. While based on the unique events during 2020 and 2021, thist project highlights the historic and ongoing spatial differentiation of housing precarity, eviction, and houselessness in Georgia and how unequal access to justice has disparately affected communities within the state, as well as the influence of individual actors and local social networks on judicial process. The research confirms the power of complex bureaucracies to hide systems of inequality and demonstrates the effectiveness of multi-disciplinary coalitions to nimbly produce evidence with immediate applications for activism and intervention.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 219. Localized Governance: Eviction, Housing, and Advocacy