Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Danya E. Keene


BackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic led to record levels of mass unemployment and wage losses in the United States, placing numerous households at greater risk of housing insecurity. Government bodies and non-profit organizations have responded accordingly by enacting eviction moratorium protections and rental assistance programs to help households in need. However, knowledge gaps pose challenges to successful uptake of eviction moratorium policies and rental assistance programs during the pandemic. Very little is known about tenants’ experience navigating eviction moratorium policies and assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and any knowledge gaps that arose.

ObjectivesTo examine the channels of information for eviction-related resources and any knowledge gaps that arose and to identify suggestions for improvement of the information dissemination process from the intended beneficiaries’ perspective.

MethodsThe research team conducted open-ended, semi-structured interviews with tenants who were behind on rent, threatened with eviction, or evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic, since the beginning of March 2020. A multidisciplinary research team analyzed the collected qualitative data with the guidance of a grounded theory approach. The data was then further analyzed for this study’s specific focus by the author.

ResultsInterviews revealed valuable insights on the information channels tenants used, their knowledge gaps on eviction moratorium policies and related programs, and their recommendations for future policy and program implementation.

ConclusionsThis study identified major gaps in tenants’ knowledge and understanding of eviction moratorium policies and rental assistance programs, limiting their access to these resources. These knowledge gaps must be addressed by more robust communication strategies and avenues for support and guidance. These findings provide valuable insight that can guide future policy and program implementation to ensure equitable access to resources for individuals most in need.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 05/19/2024