New Report Released on Best Practices for Eviction Diversion from Harvard and the ABA

By: Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program
 
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - June 23, 2021 - PRLog -- A major new report, "Designing for Housing Stability: Best Practices for Court-Based and Court-Adjacent Eviction and/or Diversion Programs," was jointly released by the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) and the American Bar Association. It identifies a list of key considerations for designing court-based and court-adjacent eviction prevention and/or diversion programs.

This report is the result of an HNMCP project assessing court-based and court-adjacent eviction prevention and/or diversion programs across the United States in order to understand what programmatic features or interventions have successfully reduced filings and evictions. To pursue these questions, the HNMCP team engaged over 320 stakeholders from diverse sectors—legal, policy, eviction prevention and/or diversion programs, and government—through individual interviews, focus groups, comprehensive surveys, and direct observation. HNMCP conducted this project with support from the ABA's Task Force on Legal Needs Arising From the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

Key findings of the assessment include:

* Stakeholders across sectors have multiple metrics of success for achieving the goal of "eviction prevention." Notably, landlords and tenants both include "housing stability" in their definitions.

* There is widespread buy-in for eviction prevention efforts across stakeholders, likely amplified by the financial and political pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Eviction prevention and/or diversion efforts are widespread, especially outside of formal state and county designations. This suggests that informal relationships, networks, and resources are in place to easily formalize and expand eviction prevention programs.

You can read more about the report, and the report itself, at: https://hnmcp.law.harvard.edu/designing-for-housing-stabi....

Report author Deanna Pantín Parrish remarked, "Our research asks how courts and communities can design interventions that help prevent and divert evictions. Data shows that investment in eviction diversion is both urgent and widely supported. Moreover, it's doable: informal efforts are widespread, suggesting that the networks and resources are in place to easily formalize and expand eviction prevention programs across the United States."

"Designing for Housing Stability" serves as a vital step in research supporting effective policy and practice for eviction prevention and/or diversion programs which we hope informs the work of stakeholders across the country working to enhance housing stability during this time.

HNMCP is the nation's first legal clinic focusing on dispute systems design and conflict management. HNMCP's mission is to take students from theory to nuanced and rigorous practice by training a new generation of lawyers with the skills necessary to help their clients manage their negotiations and disputes efficiently and creatively.

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