Legal support for tenants facing eviction

Program basics

  • Provide representation for low-income tenants during the eviction process
  • May provide an attorney in court, legal assistance and guidance, and other assistance to help tenants prepare for court
  • Some programs provide additional financial and social services

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)


Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps

Target population

Low- and moderate-income adults and families

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Legal support reduces evictions, especially for low-income tenants
  • Tenants who are represented by an attorney experience better outcomes than tenants who receive limited legal assistance
  • Reduced homelessness and improved financial and health outcomes
  • Legal support can ultimately help municipalities save money by reducing homeless shelter utilization

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Combining legal, financial, and social service supports can help keep tenants in their homes and avoid entering homeless shelters.
  • Legal support programs can be more effective by putting more resources into outreach, intake, and screening for potential clients.
  • Prioritize implementation in neighborhoods already-high numbers of evictions, high percentages of rent-stabilized housing in the area, and high rates of entry into the shelter system.
  • Community engagement in multiple languages is a crucial element of providing this service in an equitable and inclusive manner.
  • Partnerships with local law schools can be an effective strategy in building a pipeline of qualified and dedicated legal personnel.

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