Advancing Housing Justice: Right to Counsel for Tenants

About this Sprint

This sprint series included Advancing Housing Justice: Right to Counsel for Tenants (AHJ:RTC) held in Fall 2022, and Advancing Racial and Health Justice through a Right to Counsel for Tenants Facing Eviction (ARHJ) held in Spring 2023.

  • Pre-pandemic, evictions were a crisis across the United States. As of 2023, as pandemic-era protections dissolve, evictions are back on the rise - reaching pre-pandemic heights in some jurisdictions and overcoming those heights in other areas.

  • A right to counsel for tenants (RTC) is a guarantee in the law that eligible tenants will be provided with an attorney when they face an eviction or other eligible equivalent proceeding. A right to counsel policy is a critical intervention in eviction because it is demonstrably effective and cost-efficient for jurisdictions. It also complements other tenant protections, and broader housing justice and health justice reforms.

  • Results for America partnered with the National Coalition for Civil Right to Counsel (NCCRC), PolicyLink, RedBridge Strategies, Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom, and Human Impact Partners in two Solutions Sprints held in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 to offer unique learning opportunities for cities, counties, states, and community partners. These Sprints aimed to provide guidance to teams on designing, enacting, implementing, and sustaining tenant right to counsel policies (with a specific focus on race and health equity in the Spring 2023 Sprint). The participating teams had the chance to learn and network with others within and across jurisdictions and build a coalition of diverse organizations and sectors to help support the creation of their right to counsel policies and programs.

What you'll learn

  • The meaning and value of eviction right to counsel (RTC);

  • The nuances, and complexities of establishing and implementing RTC;

  • How to better understand your local eviction context, and the necessity of approaching RTC through race, gender, disability, health, and other equity lenses;

  • The importance of centering community organizers and tenants, and their expert knowledge, in RTC campaigns;

  • How to identify the necessary concrete next steps to move towards legislation and/or implementation and begin taking those steps; and

  • Support around building a stronger relationship with coalition partners.

Sprint partners


Background on RTC for tenants and reasons (and data) supporting the policy as an evidence-based, effective eviction intervention.

Background on building out an RTC coalition, key stakeholders, messaging about RTC and evictions, and the importance of centering tenants in the leadership on all stages of an RTC campaign.


Background on the critical information/data necessary to advance a RTC (including local eviction context and whether/how to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for RTC).


Background on how cities have enacted eviction RTC, specifically focusing on Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Kansas City.


Background on how cities have implemented RTC, focusing on San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Kansas City.


Background on available funding sources for RTC.

Background on evaluating RTC and what metrics to consider.


If you want to learn more about these topics or how to use these resources for your own RTC advocacy or advancement, check out the NCCRC’s Eviction RTC guide and the NCCRC’s Tenant Right to Counsel page.

Special mention: The Spring 2023 programming was made possible due to a partnership with the Healing Through Policy initiative of the deBeaumont Foundation, National Collaborative for Health Equity, and American Public Health Association. Using the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation framework, the Healing Through Policy initiative offers local leaders a suite of policies and practices that are being implemented to bring meaningful change. Right to counsel for tenants is aligned with the Healing Through Policy suite of policies and practices. For this opportunity, applications will be limited to jurisdictions who have made declarations of racism as a public health crisis. To identify if your jurisdiction has issued a declaration, refer to APHA’s map of declarations.