Achieving Housing Stability with Eviction Diversion Programs: A Guide to Best Practices during COVID and Beyond by Cindy Daley, Director of Community Redevelopment Initiatives is now available for download.
Evictions are life-altering events that negatively impacts many aspects of tenants’ lives; they present high cost to landlords and overload the court system as well. Evictions are at a crisis point in Pennsylvania and across the nation as tenants struggle with pandemic related job losses.
Evictions during a pandemic not only impact individual tenants, but they also increase the public health risk as people double up with friends and family – or worse, become homeless – making safety measures difficult to follow. Families first need homes they can stay safely inside in order to shelter in place.
In response to this growing crisis, communities around the country are creating eviction diversion programs. Diversion programs help resolve landlord-tenant disputes and prevent evictions. The findings of this report are that the best programs include comprehensive services to resolves issues leading to eviction and to keep tenants stably housed, including legal assistance, rental assistance, mediation, and social services.
Though not many programs provide all of these services, most are built on partnerships between the legal and social services worlds, recognizing that a singular approach would be less effective.
Achieving Housing Stability also makes recommendations to improve outcomes for Pennsylvania tenants, such as mandating mediation before going to court and allowing tenants to clear their records when no judgment was entered against them.
Click here to download the report, which includes new Pennsylvania-based eviction diversion programs.