Legal support for tenants facing eviction
- 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
Low- and moderate-income adults and families
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.