Eviction Specialist Helps People Keep Homes

The Washington Post published an opinion piece about students and eviction by Lavar Edmonds ’14.

Lavar Edmonds ’14, research specialist at Princeton University’s Eviction Lab, wrote a Washington Post opinion piece about housing insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. His article, Want to help kids weather this school year? Keep them from getting evicted, was published July 24, 2020.

“With many school districts shifting to online instruction this fall, students are expected to trade school buildings for spaces in their homes, a change predicated on students having homes in the first place,” Edmonds wrote. “What happens when that space isn’t there, or when students are suddenly displaced?”

PBS Newshour interviewed Edmonds for a July 7 segment on eviction. Later that month, NPR’s Philadelphia affiliate, WHYY’s Radio Times, spoke with him about the impending end of the federal eviction moratorium.

Edmonds studied math and economics at Mary Washington and earned a master of science in education policy at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. In between, he taught high school precalculus in King George County, Virginia. That experience, according to the Princeton University website, guided his research on inequality, particularly in education.

At UMW, Edmonds was known for playing classical violin in the orchestra and strings in the popular band Wylder. Less public was his work as the data analyst for the Student Transition Program, studying academic outcomes for first-generation and traditionally underrepresented minority students. Edmonds was a research assistant at the School District of Philadelphia while he studied at Penn, and he researched the causes of teacher exit in Tulsa, Oklahoma, public schools.

Today, the Norfolk, Virginia, native explores how teachers from historically black college and universities (HBCUs) affect student achievement. He is interested in studying the causes and consequences of housing instability.

All of which is why, when people want to know about eviction, he’s the one to call.

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