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Evicted

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author speaks in LR. One woman is living his book.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning author visited Little Rock today to discuss the disparity between renters and landlords in Arkansas.

We visited with one woman who doesn't need to read his book. She is living it.

Deazzaray Perkins says she has paid her rent in full and on time for three years. But she refused to pay November rent and is now facing eviction.

In his book "Evicted," Matthew Desmond argues that eviction can lead to poverty, not the other way around.

That's because an eviction follows you and finding decent housing becomes a problem.

"It is causing me problems,” says Perkins who just started looking for a new place. “It is but...like I don't have no other choice."

Perkins and her children have lived at Spanish Jons apartments on 65th street in Little Rock for three years.

They are probably down to their final three days.

In an effort to get some problems fixed Perkins contacted Seven-On-Your-Side, called code enforcement and ultimately withheld rent.

"I have been served with a three-day eviction notice," shares Perkins.

Arkansas is the only state in the nation that does not have a law requiring all landlords to provide a habitable dwelling to renters.

Perkins says she has been without hot water. And she says her oven wasn't working for three weeks. It was fixed just in time for the cold weather.

"I've been dealing with stuff for a long time,” laments Perkins. “Like now. I don't have heat. My heat is not working. I'm having to use the oven in order to keep it warm."

Arkansas is also the only state in the nation where you can be jailed for failing to pay your rent.

Some champions of tenant rights have left the legislature but also gone are some who have opposed such reforms. We'll see in early 2019 if there is any appetite at the Capitol to pass legislation that would level the playing field between landlords and tenants.

Trinity Multi-Family out of Fort Smith manages Spanish Jons apartments. No comment yet from the company. And author Matthew Desmond did not allow any media at his lecture this evening.

Airdate: November 13th, 2018

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