We are currently facing a nationwide eviction crisis, but efforts to address it remain largely disconnected.
Across the country, communities, cities, and states are investing in new policies, services, and technologies.
Gathering and making information about these innovations accessible can fuel effective, evidence-based responses.
How does the eviction process work?
There are official evictions, that go through the courts. And there are unofficial evictions that are done without going to court — and possibly done illegally through pressure by landlords on tenants. Below find a map of a general legal process of an official eviction (this can differ in jurisdictions, but this is typically the process that eviction lawsuits follow).
Eviction system interventions: Services, Policies, and Technologies
COVID-19 related eviction interventions
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 Diversion, Mediation & Prevention programs
What is an eviction diversion program? This model of help has become increasingly prominent over the last several years. There are different variations of the model, but the basic process is as follows:
- Opt-In Participation: When a landlord files an eviction lawsuit against a tenant, either party can sign up to participate in an eviction diversion program (and the other must agree).
- Application + Confirmation: The court or legal services agency hosts the program. Once the parties agree to participate, then they process their application to confirm they’re eligible.
- Mediation for an agreement: The diversion program staff helps the landlord and tenant through a mediation session to agree on a payment plan and possible other terms in a settlement agreement that will let the tenant stay in the home.
- Other Services Referrals: The diversion program connects the tenant to other social services that might help them with their financial, employment, schooling, health, and housing situation.
- Funds to Landlords for Back-Rent: The landlord receives funds from the program to compensate for some or all of the unpaid rent.
- Court Case dismissed and/or masked: The court case is dropped, meaning that there is no official eviction judgment against the tenant in the court records. This prevention of a judgment may benefit the tenant down the road, in credit reports, tenant screening, and other ‘risk assessments’.
- Tenant stays in home and both follow agreement: The tenant is allowed to stay in the home as long as the terms of the payment plan and agreement are met.
- Ongoing rental relationship: Ideally, the tenant’s financial situation improves and they are able to continue living in the home, the landlord maintains the property, and the relationship follows the rules set out in the lease. Or, the tenant has more time to make plans to move to a home that is a better fit.
There are many examples of diversion programs that have launched over the past several years, to see more specific examples and how they have set up eligibility criteria, payments, applications, mediation, and service referrals.