Disrupted: Eviction & Health in Durham, NC



A tenant could be paying rent and still be evicted. Regardless of the reason for eviction, their health is nearly always affected.


Over 9,000 evictions were filed from July 2017 to June 2018 in Durham County.

Many times, these evictions had nothing to do with late or nonpayment of rent. We’re calling these No-Fault Evictions.

Those facing No-Fault Evictions have no idea why their homes are suddenly at risk. Housing advocates believe people going through eviction judgments are experiencing poor health outcomes, but it is unclear what exactly is happening. This project tells the stories of tenants relying on Section 8 vouchers in Durham to help illustrate the health effects evictions have on people’s bodies and minds. The stories are followed by a description of the pathway to evictions, and the connection between eviction and health.

In Durham County, there are 4 reasons why a tenant can be legally evicted:

  1. Not paying rent after a 10-day grace (non-payment of rent)

  2. The lease ends, but the tenant chooses to stay (holding over)

  3. The tenant violates the lease (breach of contract)

  4. The tenant engages in criminal activity

What is a No-Fault Eviction?

A No-Fault Eviction is a type of eviction filing that is not tied to a tenant’s violation of the lease or non-payment of rent. Instead, it is an eviction filed by the landlord in order to:

  • sell the property,

  • collect rental debt, or

  • expel unwanted tenants for retaliatory reasons.

Not all no-fault evictions are because of landlords, however. Sometimes a tenant could fall behind on rent because of hospitalization and still receive an eviction notice; other times, a tenant could be a victim of intimate partner violence, call the police, and still receive an eviction notice because criminal activity occurred on the premise. These are also cases of no-fault evictions.


Learn More About Evictions

Eviction filings follow a disturbing trend affecting particular residents in the U.S. South.