A coalition of courts, legal aid groups, and community groups created a new Housing Court services model for people facing eviction in the Charleston, South Carolina region. It is now expanding to other counties in South Carolina, with the state Supreme Court Approval.
The first new Housing Court pilot started in 2019, it has since expanded to 5 areas in Charleston, each with a different magistrate presiding over their local Housing Court.
The program can be evaluated by a few key outcomes to determine impact:
- Percentage of clients who used the Housing Court services who avoided eviction, like through a dismissal, payment plan settlement, or agreed move-out settlement
- Client satisfaction, about their own sense of empowerment, understanding, and improvement of housing outcomes
- Court leader satisfaction, including around docket efficiency, quality of understanding, and level of litigant participation
- Rates of eviction filing and prevention of frivolous lawsuits
- Rates of landlords complying with the law about notice periods, eviction rules, and fees/penalties being charged