Eviction Innovations

How can we address the eviction crisis in America?

Different jurisdictions have launched efforts to prevent evictions from happening, or to respond to the negative consequences that follow them.

This site profiles current initiatives to address the eviction crisis across the United States.

It is intended for policymakers, organizers, researchers, and others who are involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating responses to eviction.

This database of program information should help government and nonprofits develop more effective responses to be implemented and scaled.

This site is a project of Stanford University’s Legal Design Lab.

Discover

Explore eviction innovations being launched across the country.

Impact

Learn how to measure impact and what evidence there already is about what works.

Connect

Share the programs that you know about and find others to connect with.

 

Do you need help with an eviction?

Are you a renter dealing with a problem with your landlord, housing conditions, or the court?
Come to Legal Help FAQ to find answers to your questions, and links to services that can help you.

Tell us about an eviction program

We are looking for detailed descriptions of programs that address the eviction crisis. Do you run such a program, or know of one? Please let us know!

Eviction Prevention projects

What are the services, policies, and technologies that can address the eviction crisis?

Explore the many programs across America that are trying to address the eviction crisis. We have collected short profiles of projects that jurisdictions may consider replicating, to prevent evictions, stop housing instability, and improve community resilience.

Eviction Diversion Programs

One of the most popular types of eviction prevention efforts are Eviction Diversion Programs. This model involves incentivizing tenants and landlords to enter a mediation program to come to a mutually-acceptable agreement outside of court. Many of these begin once an eviction lawsuit has been filed in court, by the landlord against a tenant. They often coordinate rental assistance and other financial and social services to help stabilize the tenant-landlord relationship, keep the tenant in their home, and prevent a court judgment that would go on a tenant’s record.

  • NAACP eviction navigators & diversion program in South Carolina
    This new South Carolina pilot from the NAACP and other local partners combines various prevention and help services for tenants and landlords at risk of eviction.
  • Orange County, Florida eviction diversion program
    In an effort to help curb evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners created the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program. The $13.3 million program is funded by the Federal CARES Act monies.
  • Eviction Diversion Program in Pinellas County, Florida
    Renters and landlords in Pinellas County, Florida are eligible for a COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program to help them reach a mutual agreement, pay back-rent, get help with stable housing and financial assistance, and navigate social services. It is run by the Community Law Program in the county.
  • Texas statewide Eviction Diversion Program
    The new Texas statewide eviction diversion program offers help during COVID-19 to renters and landlords. It applies once a lawsuit has been filed, and tenants are behind on rent.
  • PHL Eviction Diversion Program in Philadelphia
    The Philadelphia City Council has created an Eviction Diversion Program to help them mediate to a solution during COVID-19 hardships. It is to avoid court processes and eviction judgments.
  • Eviction Diversion Program in Ingham County, MI
    The court in Ingham County, Michigan has an Eviction Diversion Program to try to resolve eviction lawsuits and keep tenants housed.
  • Pittsburgh’s Eviction Diversion through Mediation Program
    The city of Pittsburgh is launching an Eviction Diversion through Mediation program. This program offers free mediation services for landlords and tenants prior to filing for an eviction. It provides the same services for cases that have been filed but have not yet been granted a judgment.
  • Eviction Diversion Program in Jackson County, MI
    Jackson County, Michigan has an Eviction Diversion Program that lets tenants opt into the program, have mediation, legal services, and emergency assistance if they qualify. The goal is to help deal with underlying issues in the landlord-tenant relationship, and the holistic set of problems the tenant is dealing with.
  • Rent Court Mediation in Maryland
    Baltimore Rent Court offers an in-court Mediation program for landlord-tenant issues. They provide a free 3rd party neutral to help the parties come to a settlement and avoid going to trial.
  • One-Stop Eviction Diversion Clinics at Housing Court & Neighborhood Centers in Minnesota
    The Housing Court Clinic offers a suite of legal, dispute resolution, and financial help to tenants, as well as streamlined court process to help prevent evictions. The clinic has expanded to a Pre-Eviction neighborhood Crisis Clinic, to get the same co-located, holistic resources to tenants at a preventative stage.
  • Eviction Diversion Program in Durham, NC
    This program provides individuals facing eviction with free advice and support, ranging from emergency financial aid to legal council, with the goal of helping citizens avoid eviction judgements and decreasing the number of eviction filings and verdicts in Durham County.
  • Eviction Prevention in Syracuse, NY
    The City of Syracuse Department of Neighborhood and Business Development invested in two eviction prevention programs focusing on early intervention services for tenants.
  • Eviction Diversion Program in Richmond, VA
    The Eviction Diversion program provides tenants who have received an unlawful detainer (and satisfy other eligibility criteria) with the opportunity (if their landlord agrees) to enter a voluntary conciliation procedure and to receive financial literacy education and financial assistance, as opposed to going through the court eviction process.

Anti-Eviction Technology and Data initiatives

Many new websites, apps, document-assembly tools, data initiatives, and other tech efforts have begun, in order to improve services and policy-making around evictions.

  • Eviction Legal Helpline in Virginia
    The Eviction Legal Helpline provides Virginian tenants with advice, information, and referrals. It works via phone and emails.
  • RePresent tenant education games in Connecticut & Maine
    RePresent: Renter is a mobile phone game that users can download and play in order to learn how to defend themselves against an eviction. It is currently available in Connecticut and Maine.
  • Website connecting tenants with free attorneys in NYC
    The Eviction Free NYC website helps connect people with free legal help. Any tenant in NYC who is facing eviction can go to the website to determine if they are eligible for Right to Counsel and learn how they can access a free attorney.
  • COVID-19 Eviction Forms
    How can a person get protected under the national eviction moratorium during COVID-19? They need to fill in a Declaration document, as well as making sure they fit the requirements the CDC has laid out. This online tool, COVID-19 Eviction Forms, leads people through this Declaration drafting.
  • Eviction Legal Help FAQ site for COVID-19 renters’ rights
    The national eviction help and renters’ rights FAQ site coordinates plain-language explanations of emergency COVID-19 protections for renters. It also presents them with local legal and financial assistance they can use. Can I be evicted? What if I can’t pay my rent because of COVID? Who can help me cover my housing costs? This FAQ site is designed to get these local answers featured more prominently on search engines and elsewhere online.
  • Letter Writer with Local Law for Tenants during COVID-19
    A national letter-writing tool for tenants, that integrates local law — during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants can use the tool to write a letter that protects their rights and documents their issues — and also send the letter to the landlord.
  • Letter-writer for COVID-19 emergency in LA
    A letter-writing tool to generate an official notice that a tenant can’t pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the landlord is given proper notice.
  • Eviction Cost Calculator
    The I4J Lab at University of Arizona has created a Cost of Eviction Calculator. This tool can help policy-makers, service-providers, and others to determine what the financial cost of an eviction is to their community.
  • Eviction Data Portal in Chicago
    The Chicago Evictions data portal is a resource to help policy makers, community groups and others investigate Chicago’s chronic eviction problem.
  • Eviction Prevention Letter-Writer, Hello Landlord
    Hello Landlord is a program developed by LawX and SixFifty to resolve rental issues before eviction takes place. The program helps tenants write a letter to their landlord if they have missed rent or need a repairs to their apartment.
  • Online Legal Self-Help in Boston
    MADE is an online tool to let tenants produce eviction pleadings if they are facing a lawsuit. It helps replace a 4 hour clinic that a legal aid group runs to help tenants respond to evictions.

Emergency and COVID-19 anti-eviction initiatives

The COVID-19 public health crisis threatens to create an eviction filing tsunami, as people are unable to afford their rent because of pandemic-related hardships. In response, there have been many new initiatives to prevent evictions during the crisis, and to limit the social harms that can result from housing instability.

  • COVID-19 Eviction Forms
    How can a person get protected under the national eviction moratorium during COVID-19? They need to fill in a Declaration document, as well as making sure they fit the requirements the CDC has laid out. This online tool, COVID-19 Eviction Forms, leads people through this Declaration drafting.
  • CDC National Eviction Moratorium
    The CDC Eviction Moratorium is a new national emergency policy, that orders that renters should be protected from eviction if they are unable to pay their rent due to hardships like job loss, income loss, or medical expenses. This protection lasts from September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
  • The CARES Act & Public Housing Authority renter policies during COVID
    Since the passage of the CARES Act on March 27th, 2020, Public Housing Authorities have been working to implement guidance from HUD in order to prevent evictions from subsidized housing for nonpayment of rent due to COVID-19.
  • Eviction Legal Help FAQ site for COVID-19 renters’ rights
    The national eviction help and renters’ rights FAQ site coordinates plain-language explanations of emergency COVID-19 protections for renters. It also presents them with local legal and financial assistance they can use. Can I be evicted? What if I can’t pay my rent because of COVID? Who can help me cover my housing costs? This FAQ site is designed to get these local answers featured more prominently on search engines and elsewhere online.
  • Eviction Moratorium policies to protect tenants during COVID-19
    During the COVID-19 emergency, many governments have created new Eviction Moratorium policies that give special protections to tenants who might not be able to pay their rent, or who are at risk of displacement during the emergency.
  • Letter Writer with Local Law for Tenants during COVID-19
    A national letter-writing tool for tenants, that integrates local law — during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tenants can use the tool to write a letter that protects their rights and documents their issues — and also send the letter to the landlord.
  • Letter-writer for COVID-19 emergency in LA
    A letter-writing tool to generate an official notice that a tenant can’t pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the landlord is given proper notice.
  • Eviction Prevention Letter-Writer, Hello Landlord
    Hello Landlord is a program developed by LawX and SixFifty to resolve rental issues before eviction takes place. The program helps tenants write a letter to their landlord if they have missed rent or need a repairs to their apartment.

Legal services, navigator, and empowerment programs

A primary area of eviction prevention is in getting more people legal support, education, and representation. These projects focus on educating tenants and landlords about their legal rights, pairing them with non-lawyer navigators, connecting them with free or affordable lawyers to represent them, and otherwise get legal help.

  • Housing Education and Assistance in Tennessee
    The program provides housing assistance and education to low-income community members. Services include: mediation, education and legal advice.
  • Housing Justice Project in Nebraska
    The program provides assistance to low-income individuals with housing problems. Assistance includes, information, referrals, advice, self-help services and limited assistance and representation to qualifying low-income individuals with legal problems that fit within their housing priority.
  • NYC Housing Court Navigators
    The New York City Housing Courts has a navigator program to support and assist unrepresented litigants – people who do not have an attorney – during their court appearances in landlord-tenant and consumer debt cases.
  • Right to Counsel in NYC
    NYC’s Right to Counsel program provides free full-representation lawyers to tenants who live in eligible zip codes, and who are income-eligible. It is run by the city government’s Office of Civil Justice, in partnership with the NYC Housing Courts, local legal aid groups, and the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition.
  • Tenant Education game in Boston: Fight Displacement!
    Fight Displacement is a board and trivia game that educates tenants on their rights and the different ways they can respond to the Boston housing crisis. It is intended as a training resource for community organizations working to fight housing displacement and influence local development.
  • Tenant-Landlord Assistance Project in southern California courts
    The TLAP program in California provides legal services to qualified tenants and landlords involving unlawful detainer actions.
  • Charleston Housing Court Pilot Project in South Carolina
    The Charleston County Housing Court provides legal help to low-income families facing eviction. The objective of the court is to help tenants avoid eviction through mediation with the landlord, providing help to pay rent or assessing whether the eviction was legally served.
  • Right to Counsel Housing Jobs Board in NYC
    This job board program is for prospective tenant attorneys, to provide them with an overview of right to counsel housing jobs in NYC.
  • Housing Court Lawyer for the Day programs in Massachusetts
    Volunteer attorneys provide Limited Assistance Representation to low-income, underrepresented tenants and landlords in housing courts in Massachusetts.
  • Tenant Education in Tucson RENT Project
    The RENT Project offers tenant education workshops in Pima County, Arizona. Volunteer attorneys and students from the University of Arizona run educational workshops on renter rights & responsibilities in partnership with local organizations throughout Pima County.
  • Eviction Summons Redesign in Cincinnati, OH
    A team of court officials, self-help lawyers, and university researchers redesigned the court’s official Summons that tenants receive when they are evicted, to make it more accessible and actionable.