About this project

For the last year, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism has collaborated with universities from coast to coast to examine the impact of homelessness.

Our initial stories dove deeply into the criminalization of homelessness and the treatment of homeless encampments in cities across the U.S. This summer, we expanded our reporting to include those who could join the ranks of the homeless after the arrival of the coronavirus caused millions of people to lose their jobs.

Recognizing that threat, Congress passed and the president signed a federal eviction moratorium in March that banned evictions for up to 20 million households. But from the outset, flaws in the hastily written legislation began to appear.

The latest package in our series uses court records, eviction data, public records and interviews with landlords, tenants and housing experts to assess how the CARES Act eviction moratorium played out on the ground. We found confusion at every level, which led to selective enforcement of the law and unequal treatment for renters.

Photo credits (left to right): Joanne Smith, Will Hembree, Kamome Komiyama
Congress allowed the moratorium to lapse July 24, which could set off a wave of evictions in the fall — swelling the ranks of the nation’s half-million homeless people — if it is not replaced.
 
The eviction project was led by the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. We collaborated with Big Local News at Stanford University and journalism departments at Boston University and the University of Arkansas.
 
It was supported by grants from the Pulitzer Center, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Park Foundation.
 
The work built on the expertise our journalism students acquired in reporting on homeless encampments in the U.S. and cities’ increasing use of criminal statutes to arrest their way out of homeless problems. In addition to Maryland, Stanford, Boston and Arkansas, the homeless project also included students and faculty from the University of Oregon, the University of Florida and Arizona State University.
 
 
The series was made possible by support from the Scripps Howard Foundation, which created the Howard Center to honor the late news industry executive and pioneer Roy W. Howard.
 
Photo credits: Left: Maris Medina, photo by Susannah Outhier. Right: Lancelot Lin, photo by Susannah Outhier.

Credits

From the University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Reporting: Brenda Wintrode, Aneurin Canham-Clyne, Luciana Perez Uribe, Julia Lerner, Arya Hodjat, Trisha Ahmed, Clara Longo de Freitas, Victoria Daniels Christine Condon, Clara De Freitas, Grace Dille, Bradley Dress, Bryan Gallion, Julia Lerner, Ryan Little, Elizabeth Loewenthal, Allison O’Reilly, Morgan Politzer, Elisa Posner, Vanessa Reis, Callie Tansill-Suddath 

Data: Ryan Little, Maya Pottiger, Sean McGoey, Roxanne Ready, Riin Aljas, Theresa Diffendal, Nora O’Reilly, Luciana Perez Uribe

Social Media: Benjamin Gonzalez, Camryn DeLuca

Digital Design: Camila Velloso, Theresa Gebhart, Jenna Cohen, Emma Grazado, Sean McGoey

Graphics: Theresa Diffendal, Camila Velloso, Jenna Cohen, Emma Grazado, Sean McGoey

Visuals: Sid Espinosa, Carly Haynes, Lancelot Lin, Maris Medina, Susannah Outhier

From the University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication

Reporting: Zack Demars, Gina Scalpone, Donny Morrison, Rachel McKinnon

Data Analysis: Lukas Hanson

From the University of Arkansas, School of Journalism and Strategic Communication

Reporting: Katy Seiter, Whitney King, Michael Adkison, Abbi Ross, Brooke Tomlin, Elena Ramirez, Matthew Moore, Mary Morgan Ellis, Mary Hennigan, Abigail Zimmardi

From Boston University, Department of Journalism

Reporting, Public Records Requests and Data Analysis: Nick McCool, Lillian Eden, Noemi Arellano-Summer, Mikayla Heiss, Sydney Hager, Ryoma Komiyama, Anran Xie, Ran Zhang, Emily LeClerc, Anoushka Dalmia, Miriam Fauzia

Photojournalist:  Sophie Park

From the University of Florida, College of Journalism and Communications

Reporting: Katie Hyson, Edysmar Diaz-Cruz, Everitt Rosen, Karina Elwood, Stephanie Cornwell

Photojournalists: Chris Day, Sam Thomas

From Stanford University, Department of Communication

Reporting: Amy Di Pierro, Samuel Baucom, Seimi Chu, McArdle Hankin, Rachel Oh, Joseph Dworetzky, Irena Hwang, Vanessa Ochavillo, Matthew Vollrath

Data Analysis: Justin Mayo, Megan Calfas, Tylar Campbell, Astrid Casimire, Amy DiPierro, Irena Hwang, Max Lee, Salma Loum, Vanessa Ochavillo, Brooke Sparks, Celia Anderson

From Arizona State University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Reporting: Jonmaesha Beltran, Jamie Landers, Jorge Santos, Luis Torres

Additional research at Stanford University

Public Records Requests and Reporting: Cyrus Beschloss, Qian Chen, Matt DeButts, Nisa Khan, Rachel Oh, Jia Hui Tan

Public Records Requests: Amara Aarif, Ellie Bowen, Anna Goshua, Austin Maihen, Vikas Maturi, Cameron Scarlett, Michael Spencer, Aparna Verma

Additional research at the University of Maryland

Lawsuit Analysis: Shreeya Agarwal, David Akerman, Nicholas Albicocco,  Anne Archer, Jeffrey Barnes, Daniel Berger,  Isabel Cleary, Yakira Cohen, Lindsey Collins, Spencer Dobkin, Cameron Doney, Alexis Duda, Hannah Fields, Jason Fontelieu, Kaitlyn Francis, Theresa Gebhart, Brogan Gerhart, Alexandra Glover, Jordan Gold, Aleah Green, Hannah Greenberg, Dominic Gugliotta, Cameron Hasbrouck, Thomas Hindle, Kaliah Hobbs, Analeigh Hughes, Annabelle Janssens, Ryan Kamber, Jaclyn Kaufman, Alborz Lakeh, Amina Lampkin, Haemee Lee, Daniel Longest, Makea Luzader, Sean Mahoney, Max Marcilla, Garrett Mogge, Cailey Muraca, Jenna Pierson, Angela Roberts, Maristela Romero, Mia Salenetri, Megan Sayles, Jack Schemmel, Catherine Scott, Jamal Seaforth, Samantha Subin, Dominick Waldman, Morgan Weaver, Audrey Widodo, Jacqueline Zegler

Public Records Requests: Amanda Allen, Kira Barrett, Vivian Caesar, Rachel Clair, Suzanne Creedon, Kathleen Deblasis, Audrey Decker, Victoria Ebner, Reid Flumbaum, Tyler Golsen, Benjamin Gonzalez, Halle Grossett, Brendan Hartlove, Julianne Heberlein, John Hogan, April Howard, Owen Hynes, Joseph Ilardi, Hallie Kay, Abbigail Klein, Maya Koeppen, Shruti Kumar, Paige Leckie, Elizabeth Loewenthal, Jennifer Mandato, Alexandra Marquez, Sean Montiel, Elana Morris, Erika Muller, Sofia Parrela Castro, Vanessa Reis, Taylor Roar, Maryam Shahzad, Scott Shapiro, Melissa Signorini, Zachary Solon, Jacob Steinberg, Alexis Sugar, Maria Trovato, Isabelle Tyshing, Jalen Wade, Haoran Wu, Nicole Zibelman, Luciana Perez-Uribe, Logan Arneson, Kaitlyn Cupelli, Benjamin Curtis, Michael Cutler, Alexander Dacy, Camryn DeLuca, Taylor Dove, Casey Fair, Laura Franklin, Casey Gannon, Julia Gastwirth, Chloe Goldberg, Emma Grazado, Eric Harkleroad, Patrick Hauf, Sahana Jayaraman, Austin Kalt, Styliani Lappas, Connor Leff, Reese Levin, Kaitlyn Levinson, Clara Longo De Freitas, Carmen Molina Acosta, Ambika Narula, Charles Nyonga, Jared Ochacher, Samantha Payer, Elisa Posner, Morgan Pravato, Michael Purdie, Celia Richardson, Emily Riley, Kate Savinelli, Kimberly Seif, Jordan Swarm, Jaelyn Watson, Lillian Andemicael, Jonah Anderson, Aneeta Ashton, Jennifer Attanasio, Oyinkansola Awosika, Tori Bergel, Margot Biamon, Patrick Britt, Lila Bromberg, Rachel Bucchino, Malika Budd, Madison Burinsky, Travis Chase, Zamir Courtney, Dylan D’Andrea, Abigail Espiritu, Toluwalase Famuyide, Nolan Gelbard, Anna Hovey, Kaanita Iyer, Jesse Johnson, Henry Malone, Grace Mottley, Benjamin Palmer, Fatemeh Paryavi, Khloe Quill, Borja Rebaza, Lillian Reese, Jamal Seaforth, Jeremy Tombs, Alexander Tuerk, Andrea Wenck

Data Requests: Aneurin Canham-Clyne, Sydney Clark, Victoria Daniels, Renee Foose, Madison Hunt, Darryl Kinsey, Ryan McFadden, Sean McGoey, Laina Miller, Jacob Rousseau, Michelle Siegel, Callan Tansill-Suddath, Grace Todd, Philip Van Slooten, Brenda Wintrode, Mohan Xu, Charlotte Dulany

Faculty and Staff Advisers

University of Maryland: Howard Center Data Editor Sean Mussenden and Director Kathy Best; Merrill College faculty members Deborah Nelson, Adam Marton, Alexander Pyles, Bethany Swain, Sandra Banisky and LaMonte Summers; Merrill College Communications Manager Josh Land.

University of Oregon: Brent Walth, assistant professor of journalism, and Nicole Dahmen, associate professor of journalism. They are co-directors of The Catalyst Journalism Project.

University of Arkansas: Rob Wells, assistant professor and graduate coordinator.

Boston University: Maggie Mulvihill, associate professor of computational journalism, and Greg Marinovich, photojournalist and master lecturer in journalism.

University of Florida: Moni Basu, the Michael and Linda Connelly lecturer in narrative nonfiction, and Richard Shaw, photojournalist and adjunct professor.

Stanford University: Cheryl Phillips, Hearst Professional in Residence and director of Big Local news, and R.B. Brenner, lecturer.

Arizona State University: Christina Leonard, professor of practice and executive editor of Cronkite News, and Venita Hawthorne James, professor of practice and Phoenix bureau chief for Cronkite News.