A program that provides mediation between landlords and tenants has helped a majority of applicants avoid eviction, signaling a promising avenue for renter assistance as landlords seek to recoup COVID-era losses.
A podcast from Next City describes the success of a 'eviction diversion program' in Philadelphia that could provide a long-term solution after pandemic assistance programs end. So far, the program has reduced eviction filings by 75 percent. "In this episode of the podcast, Next City executive director Lucas Grindley talks with housing correspondent Roshan Abraham about the connection between poverty and eviction. We also meet Rasheedah Phillips, who was an attorney with Community Legal Services when she helped launch the program in 2020."
According to the city's website, the program, which was created as a response to COVID-19 and became mandatory as of January 2022, "enables landlords and tenants to arrive at an agreement that works for both parties, without having to go to Court."
The program sets out a process that must be followed by tenants and landlords and arranges mediation sessions. "Every tenant in the Eviction Diversion Program is assigned a City-funded housing counselor. Housing counselors meet with tenants before mediation to complete rental assistance applications, assess finances and find out if other issues need to be addressed. Housing counselors attend mediation sessions along with the tenant. Landlords are encouraged to communicate with housing counselors."
Listen to the full podcast at the source link.
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