NYC eviction data could predict family homelessness

By analyzing eviction data from New York City’s Department of Homeless Services, the SumAll Foundation is working to better identify individuals and families at the greatest risk of becoming homeless.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, more than 53,000 people — among them 12,000-plus families with more than 22,000 children — were living in New York homeless shelters last November. Eviction is one of the leading reasons that people land in homeless shelters, the coalition says.

Insights from city data on evictions could help provide smarter, more targeted social services to keep families in stable housing and out of the shelter system, according to the SumAll Foundation.

“Identifying families at risk of becoming homeless early in the eviction process presents a huge prevention opportunity,” said Stefan Heeke, executive director of SumAll.org, the non-profit arm of the big-data company SumAll. “We are in the process of creating the algorithm that helps find these families in need and detect future homelessness hotspots in New York City.”

Analysis of data so far shows that, depending on where in the city a family lives, an average of four to five month passes from receiving an eviction notice to moving into a homeless shelter. Compared to other areas, eviction orders in Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx appear to be more likely to eventually land a family in a homeless shelter.

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