Eva Rosen's research examines the creation, experience, and persistence of urban poverty, focusing on housing policy and racial segregation. 

Rosen relies on mixed methods including ethnographic, quantitative, quantitative, and geographic mapping (GIS) data. Research projects have studied populations including relocated residents of former public housing on Chicago’s South Side, families displaced by Hurricane Katrina (the RISK study), participants in the Baltimore's Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment, and families across three income groups making residential decisions ("How Parents' House Kids"). She is currently Co-PI on a project studying landlords in Washington DC, Dallas, Cleveland, and Baltimore, called "Landlords and the Geography of Opportunity."

Rosen is currently working on a book under contract with Princeton University Press examining recent changes in American housing assistance that have transformed the landscape of ghetto poverty from high-rise public housing to a voucher system where the poor are housed in the private market. Her ethnography of a Baltimore neighborhood studies the residential decisions and everyday lives of homeowners, renters, and the landlords who house them, in contexts of scarcity, violence, and instability.