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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UNC: Student Explores Link Between Eviction and Poor Health in New Website

Disrupted: Eviction and Health in Durham, NC” is a website and exhibit that offers a glimpse into how eviction often leads to poor health outcomes. The project, which sheds light on this issue in Durham, North Carolina, is the work of Ms. Karla Jimenez-Magdaleno, a dual Master’s degree candidate in public health and city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In Durham, where more than 9,000 evictions were filed between July 2017 and July 2018, many evictions are “no-fault,” meaning they were filed against tenants with no clear reason for eviction stated. With her public health background from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Ms. Jimenez-Magdaleno knew it is generally assumed that eviction negatively affects health, but little documentation exists about specific health impacts.

To learn more, she interviewed tenants receiving housing assistance in the form of Section 8 vouchers who had been given no-fault eviction notices. In the resulting website and exhibit, she shares stories and photos documenting the experiences of two women: One experienced aggravated symptoms of Lupus and scleroderma following eviction, and the other experienced high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression. Read their stories at the Disrupted website.

“Disrupted was inspired by a health behavior project we did in the Planning Health Promotion class in spring 2018,” Jimenez-Magdaleno said. “That project focused on a three-pronged approach to reducing evictions in Durham County, NC. I wanted to continue the project in some form without focusing on the ways we traditionally look at eviction — usually based in a belief that the tenant is at fault for not paying rent.”

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