2023 Report - Examining Individual Eviction Cases

Providing targeted legal aid, financial support, and personalized assistance empowers tenants to navigate difficult situations and maintain housing stability.

No two evictions are exactly alike. Two households behind on rent can have vastly different paths to an eviction as well as vastly different sets of barriers, needs, and desires following an eviction.

As a result, the services provided must also be adaptable to the needs of various households. This might mean one household needs assistance with legal aid, but doesn’t need to conduct a housing search while another household needs someone to assist with navigating the rental market over a period of months.

EDDP’s eviction specialists provide one-on-one case management for tenants so that their specific needs are met. Below are three cases which underscore the effectiveness of this comprehensive, individualized approach.

In one notable case, a family of four facing eviction contacted EDDP. The team helped them apply for rental assistance and secured legal representation. This was crucial as EDDP could only partially settle their outstanding rent through its financial aid program. When it was not possible to pay in full, the attorney negotiated a payment plan and a delayed move-out, granting the family the much-needed time to find alternative housing.

EDDP’s involvement includes assistance with security deposits and first month’s rent once a new lease is secured. This further support was a lifeline for the family, who was able to secure a new home in time for the holiday season. They have since had their eviction redacted, ensuring they don’t face this additional barrier to safe, affordable housing in the future.

Another case involved a Spanish-speaking tenant who faced eviction and struggled due to her inability to read or write in Spanish or English. EDDP’s collaboration with NewBridge, an organization supporting older adults, was vital. NewBridge caseworkers bridged the gap between the tenant and EDDP, paving the way for the program’s supportive services. Legal representation through EDDP led to a negotiated payment plan and an extended move-out timeline. EDDP’s eviction specialists are still working with the tenant and security deposit support is on the horizon. The program’s embeddedness in the community proved significant, linking several organizations together to ensure this tenant could stay housed.

The final case illustrates EDDP’s diversion efforts, which aim to prevent an eviction from being filed in the first place. After a fire made a family’s apartment uninhabitable, they faced a potential illegal “self-help” eviction. EDDP quickly intervened, offering legal representation and agreed to negotiation with the landlord, who eventually waived any financial obligations and a mutual termination of the lease. EDDP’s assistance went further and covered the security deposit and first month’s rent for a new apartment, demonstrating the program’s commitment to immediate support for housing stability.

These cases showcase EDDP’s critical role in offering a wide range of eviction defense and diversion services, including in situations where tenants have limited English proficiency. By providing targeted legal aid, financial support, and personalized assistance, EDDP empowers tenants to navigate through the complexities of eviction, ensuring justice for those in vulnerable positions and improving housing stability.

However, it is far too often that these interventions are unavailable to tenants. Whether that’s because a household is unable to connect with us during our office hours and outreach efforts or whether the capacity of the program has reached its limit due to the number of households facing housing instability. There are far too many households left behind.

Over the past few years, emergency assistance provided by the federal government has allowed for many of these programs to expand greatly; though often not at the same pace that needs in the community have grown due to economic impacts of the pandemic. However, with the end of many of these emergency assistance programs approaching and the needs throughout the community showing no signs of decreasing, there’s a real concern about what the state of housing stability will look like in 2025 and beyond.