2023 Report - An Overview of EDDP's Services

Tenants connect with Tenant Resource Center’s staff about an eviction by dropping into one of our office spaces, calling us, receiving information from us about an eviction filing, seeing us in the community at an event, or meeting with us at court. In 2023 alone, we connected with tenants on all of the 2,437 eviction filings over the year. All of our services are available in English and Spanish.

Eviction is Filed
Our staff follows the eviction calendar, collecting available data on each filing, including the parties’ names, address, reason for eviction filing, amount of rent owed, and type(s) of notice precipitating the eviction. Our team reviews the documents filed along with the summons and complaint and creates a client file for each case so that tenants have access to the necessary materials when we are working to provide services.

We mail each household information about the filing, resources available, and how to reach us. EDDP staff members then reach out to households assigned to them based on prioritization factors centered on who is most vulnerable to housing instability. We have significant amounts of contact information data that we rely on to call, text, and email tenants. Tenants may also reach us by visiting our office. This is one of the many reasons it is important for Tenant Resource Center to be as accessible as possible in the community.

Once we connect with a household and before the eviction initial hearing, we may provide a number of services:

  • Housing Counseling to answer questions about rental rights and responsibilities;
  • Mediation in attempt to reach an agreement between the tenant and landlord;
  • Rental and utility assistance;
  • Court navigation to explain what to expect at court and the steps involved with an eviction filing;
  • Connect them with other community resources; and/or
  • A referral to legal counsel for representation that is free to the tenant.

Tenant Resource Center is also present at every eviction court hearing. We always have a housing counselor, a mediator, an EDDP team member, and a member of our finance review team at court. This ensures that tenants have access to a team member that can provide information about their rental rights under the law, someone who can facilitate a negotiated settlement with a neutral third party, someone who can detail the available services they may need during the process, and someone who can give detailed information about any rental assistance applications, including any charges the program was unable to cover due to issues under the program or Wisconsin’s landlord tenant laws.

We also have a number of staff working in the background contacting each household to ensure they will be at court, helping tenants log into the virtual hearings in our office or at their home, and answering a flood of questions that come in from tenants and landlords about the hearing. We also reach out to tenants after their hearing to help explain what happened at court and next steps, using terms they understand, and resources that may be available.

After an Eviction Hearing or Trial
Our team continues to work with tenants enrolled in our EDDP services for up to 6 months to support their long-term housing stability. For example, we help tenants find housing after an eviction filing by supporting redaction clinics and information on eviction court record redactions, writing letters to a prospective landlord about the circumstances surrounding the eviction filing, and locating resources for moving and securing new housing.

Our EDDP team also works with tenants whose housing stability is significantly at risk but they do not yet have an eviction filing. In those eviction diversion situations, we may be able to provide many of the same services, including referrals to one of our EDDP legal partners, targeted outreach, and rental and utility assistance. The goal of the diversion side of the program is to prevent an eviction from being filed and help a tenant retain their current housing or move into stable housing.