The National Building Museum’s exhibition Evicted is here in Birmingham, AL from October 21 to December 30, 2021 at the Birmingham Public Library’s Central Location.

Central Birmingham Public Library – 2100 Park Place, Birmingham, Alabama 35203-2744

Click here to see photos from our Opening Reception!

The Alabama Center for Architecture (ACFA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the enjoyment of architecture, design and construction through engagement, education, and collaboration. The ACFA educates individuals and community leaders about the power of architecture and how it improves lives and transforms the places where we live.

For more than a year, the ACFA and partner organizations below have been working toward a common goal: education and awareness about the housing crisis facing our nation. We believe that with our combined resources and statewide programming, the AEC industry can help find solutions.

About Evicted

Inspired by Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Evicted brings visitors into the world of low-income renter eviction. The exhibit challenges visitors to face the enormity of one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems, while providing context for the crisis and a call to action.

The exhibition also highlights ways that some local and state governments and nonprofits are intervening to upend the cycle of chronic evictions, such as Right to Counsel laws and new affordable housing projects. Visitors leave armed with ideas for ways they can enact change in their jurisdictions and help alleviate the downward spiral for those already living on the economic edge.

Click here to learn more about the Evicted book by Matthew Desmond!

Facing the Housing Crisis in Sweet Home Alabama

The ACFA curated a companion piece to the Evicted exhibit focused on eviction, housing, and poverty in Alabama and its four largest metropolitan areas: Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, and Mobile. This companion exhibit visualizes the state of housing and poverty over time in these communities and highlight organizations working to improve housing for families across the state.

The Burden of Renting in Alabama:

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines “rent burdened” as spending more than 30% of income on housing and “severely rent burdened” as spending more than 50% of income on housing.

  • In the Birmingham Hoover – HMFA (HUD Metro Fair Market Rate Area) the average renter earns $16.49/hour and can afford to pay $863 before becoming rent burdened. The average rent for a modest 2 bedroom apartment in this metro is $1,002.
  • In the Mobile HMFA the average renter earns $13.70/hour and can afford to pay $712 before becoming rent burdened. The average rent for a modest 2 bedroom apartment in this metro is $824.
  • In the Montgomery HMFA the averag renter earns $13.41/hour and can afford to pay $697 before becoming rent burdened. The average rent for a modest 2 bedroom apartment in this metro is $908.

Statewide Programming:

See below for a list of programming from the ACFA and partners leading up to the Evicted exhibit. Click the event title for more information or to view recordings, if applicable.

5/4/2022: ISA Affordable Housing Fundraiser (1 HSW) (ACFA)
1/14/2022: Evicted Closes at Birmingham’s Central Public Library (ACFA)
12/17/2021: Evicted AL Research Results (1 HSW) (ACFA)
10/21/2021: Evicted Opens to the Public at Birmingham’s Central Public Library (ACFA)
Fall 2021: David Baker Architects Affordable Housing Symposium (4.5 HSW) (ACFA)
Rethinking Urban Renewal: Strategies for Redeveloping Housing Authority Assets
Residents and Neighbors: Community Engagement Before, During, and After COVID
Friendly Urban Housing: Affordable, High-Density, Mixed-Use
9/14/2021: AIA Birmingham Emerging Professionals Evicted Book Discussion (AIA Birmingham)
8/10/2021: David Baker Architects, Zimmerman Properties, & TriStar (1 HSW) (ACFA)
July 2021: Auburn University Urban Studio’s Affordable Housing Projects (1 HSW) (ACFA)
6/8/21: Huntsville Community of Hope (1 HSW) (ACFA & AIA North Alabama)
5/18/21: Mobile Housing Board (1 HSW) (ACFA & AIA Mobile)
4/21/21: First Light Shelter (1 HSW) (AIA Birmingham)
4/6/21: The Block Project, Seattle, WA (1 HSW) (ACFA)
3/11/21: Navigate Affordable Housing Partners (1 HSW) (AIA Birmingham)
2/25/21: A Citizen Architect’s Journey w/ Steve Lewis, FAIA, NOMAC, LEED AP (1 HSW) (ACFA)
1/28/21: Housing with OJT (Office of Jonathan Tate) (1 HSW) (ACFA)
1/26/21: Huntsville Community of Hope (1 HSW) (AIA North Alabama)
1/20/21: Jefferson County Housing Authority (1 HSW) (AIA Birmingham)
12/15/20: Firehouse Ministries / Poole & Company Architects (1 HSW) (AIA Birmingham)
11/20/20: Congo Street Initiative [bc] (1 HSW) (AIA Birmingham)
10/27/20: One Roof Birmingham: Uniting Central Alabama to End Homelessness (1 HSW) (AIA Birmingham)
7/10/20: What’s Happening in Ensley? w/ BuildUP (1 LU) (AIA Birmingham)
2/21/20: 4th Avenue Business District Update w/ Urban Impact, Inc. (HSW) (AIA Birmingham) (AIA Birmingham)
1/15/20: Opportunity Zones and Funding (1 LU) (AIA Birmingham)

Evicted Data & Creators

Developed in collaboration with designers MATTER Architecture Practice and mgmt. design, Evicted includes specially commissioned visual infographics and forward-thinking design to introduce visitors to the numbers and statistics that will help them to better understand the causes for and ramifications of chronic eviction. Data developed by the Eviction Lab—the first central repository for national eviction data—highlights rates of evictions in different markets and makes evident the depths of the problem. Working together, these elements amplify the stories of tenant families, as they explain in their own words and images the impact eviction has on them and their loved ones. Videos were created by Unfurl Productions, a media company devoted to nonfiction storytelling.


This exhibition is generously supported by Ford Foundation; Amy C. Falls; Wells Fargo Housing Foundation; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust; The Annie E. Casey Foundation; International Masonry Institute; International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; Enterprise Community Partners; LISC, in memory of Oramenta Newsome; Charles P. and Shari Lawrence Pfleeger; Venable Foundation; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.