Tracking Milwaukee Evictions

Branden DuPont

Medical College of Wisconsin

Eviction Database Background

  • Eviction database developed as a joint partnership
  • Common Council and City, Alderman Kovac in particular for sponsoring the development of this work
  • Stemmed from the need to identify basic eviction data
  • Created to inform the public and to identify trends and patterns to aid in resolution of systemic issues

Eviction as a Social Determinant of Health

  • Displacement
  • Children
    • Education – Increased absences due to instability or school changes due to relocation

    • Direct correlation between ER visits for children and housing instability

  • Adults

    • Education

    • Employment

      • Difficulty getting new job without permanent address

      • Risk of losing current job due to housing instability, relocation, transportation, etc.

  • Health
    • Housing conditions (worsened by cycle of eviction) like lack of heat, mold, infestations, etc. lead to health issues

    • Mental Health (perceptions of procedural fairness)

  • Family

    • Families can be separated or forced into unsafe housing conditions due to housing instability

    • Neighborhoods see increased crime in areas with high turnover and lack of community

The Justice Gap

  • How many evictions in Milwaukee County per year?
    • 13,985 in 2018 | 14,077 in 2017 | 13,457 in 2016
  • Approximately 34,000 people impacted by eviction in 2018
  • How often are landlords represented by counsel?
    • In 2016, slightly more than 50% of landlords were represented by an attorney
  • How many tenants had representation in 2016?
    • Less than 1% of tenants in eviction filings, 112 out of 13,457, were represented by counsel in 2016
  • This data has, historically, been unavailable to the general public

Milwaukee Policymakers, Researchers, & Community Members Need Eviction Data

  • Difficult to understand drivers of eviction and design prevention strategies
  • Community unable to view a properties eviction record
  • Conducting additional research prohibitive

 Datashare @ MCW IHE = Local IDS





What Was Built

  • Automated database that maintains Milwaukee eviction records
  • Pipeline that assigns evictions to an address and taxkey
  • Series of visualizations on aggregate eviction metrics
  • Parcel level map of eviction filings
  • Eviction records with building code violations issued within 90 days as well as open at the time of filing

Consider a Basic Question on Eviction

  • "He'll evict you in a minute" - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Youssef "Joe" Berrada's Use of Eviction
  • High eviction filing rate or does Berrada just own a large number of properties?

Data Needed To Construct an Eviction Filing Rate

  • Court records on eviction - small claims case
  • Address the eviction took place
  • Taxkey information for that address
  • The number of units at that property
  • The primary land use of the property (multi-family or single-two family)


  • Featured in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Next City, & The Sunlight Foundation
  • Viz Interactions > 70,000
  • Article Shared publicly > 670

Outcomes & Policy Changes

  • Provide stakeholders with a key source of data to inform housing policy and understand drivers of eviction
    • DCD, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Eviction Prevention Coalition,
  • Understand relationship between habitability of rental housing and evictions

What's Next

  • More nuanced, ongoing understanding of the relationship between housing violations and evictions
  • Who Own's What project localized in Milwaukee

Where Can I Find This Project?

Milwaukee CJC Meeting of the Whole

By Branden DuPont

Milwaukee CJC Meeting of the Whole

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