(October 2019-June 2021)
Improving access to safe, stable, and strong housing and support networks
Through discussions with fellows and organizational leaders and reflections on her role as a housing service provider while working at CommonBond Communities, Amal Barre recognized that having access to up-to-date eviction data was critical to understanding and effectively responding to housing instability and displacement.
For her fellowship project, Barre focused on publishing statewide dwelling unit eviction data and a rental property ownership directory. This information will provide communities with tools to build better relationships with landlords, tenants, social service organizations, and funding institutions in order to reduce housing instability.
“The privileges and resources I can access are a reflection of the community I live in and the network of people I am connected to,” Barre said. “I want all of us to recognize how individual and community stability and well-being are connected and dependent on each other.”
The digital tool Barre created, unevictIA, provides information about where evictions are occurring in the state. With each release of data, Barre is hosting community conversations to broaden understanding and collaboration. One challenge has been getting access to information about landlords when many use LLCs that obscure their names. In contrast, individuals who are evicted have their names published. Barre sees opportunities to address this issue through advocacy and stronger messaging about how housing stability benefits everyone.
The digital tool was released with data from Polk and Dallas Counties in spring 2021. Barre expects to publish data for all 99 counties by fall 2021. She has been asked to present her findings, including during Polk County Housing Trust Fund’s Affordable Housing Week, to elevate the conversation at a time when evictions are rising.
Barre also transitioned to a new role as Vice President of Planning and Strategy at Oakridge Neighborhood Services, where she continues her focus on system-level work.