The I4J Lab at University of Arizona has created a Cost of Eviction Calculator. This tool can help policy-makers, advocates, service-providers, and others to determine what the financial cost of an eviction is to their community.
It calculates the costs based on some of the most prominent downstream costs of an eviction. It does this by using publicly available data about usage of various government and health services, and the costs of these services.
Its team cautions that the costs might be an underestimate, because of the ‘informal evictions’ that might occur when tenants leave their home if the landlord changes the locks, or after an eviction threat, filing or notice (but without an official court eviction judgment on the record).
To use the calculator, you should know (or be prepared to do some research to gather) some basic facts and statistics:
- Your Area: Which zip code and area are you in?
- Shelter Stats and Costs: What stats do you have around evictions that lead to shelter needs, and the cost of providing that shelter?
- Hospital Care Stats and Costs: How many homeless people are using inpatient hospital services and the ER, and what that costs?
- Child Welfare and Delinquency Stats and Costs: How many homes have children, what percentage are involved with child welfare services, how many homeless children commit acts of delinquency, and what are the criminal justice costs of dealing with this?
The calculator will generate a report that can be used in policy-making work to inform decisions about costs and strategies. It includes detailed breakdowns of the costing analysis, as well as a list of prevention and cost-reduction policies that could improve people’s housing outcomes and save public money.