Event—Scholarly Seminars

Canceled: Rahim Kurwa, University of Illinois at Chicago


Due to ongoing developments related to Covid-19, this seminar has been postponed.

The New ‘Man in the House’ Rules: How the Regulation of Housing Vouchers Turns Personal Bonds into Eviction Liabilities, Rahim Kurwa

While federal aid to the poor has traditionally focused on support for families, a central contradiction in these policies is the degree to which the state employs anti-family modes of welfare regulation and punishment. This paper explores this contradiction in the case of Housing Choice Vouchers, the nation’s largest rental assistance program for low-income households. Interviews with 39 tenants show how, like welfare’s early ‘man in the house’ rules, the enforcement of these rules turns personal, romantic, and family bonds into eviction liabilities, and argues for a closer theorization of safety net programs conventionally thought to have different trajectories.