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A new exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., is bringing the country's eviction crisis to life. The exhibit is based on a Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond, who spent two years living in two of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods and chronicling the lives of residents as they suffered the hazards of unsafe housing and the psychological distress that flows from eviction, writes CityLab writer Kriston Capps.

Evicted,” which opened over the weekend, goes to lengths to show the broad strokes of the eviction crisis in America. It’s filled with statistics from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that reveal the plight of poor families. It distills the policy analysis of Desmond’s book to three critical points: Incomes are stagnant, rents are rising, and the government is not filling the gap.

The show features house-shaped frames on which curators have plastered photos, infographics, and quotes from Desmond’s book. The figure is inadvertently revealing. What the Building Museum spent to give shape to Desmond’s book is roughly the same as what one of Evicted’s subjects makes in a month. Lamar, a Milwaukee father and double-amputee who can’t collect disability, earns $628 a month; he spends 88 percent of that on his rent, before he is evicted.

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