The impact of evictions on families and neighborhoods

The issue of evictions is thoroughly explored in an online article published in Stateline.

Here's the opening summary of the issue.

Evictions destabilize families, forcing them into poorer neighborhoods with higher crime rates. And evictions cost cities money: After a family is evicted, a city can end up losing thousands of dollars in property taxes and unpaid utility bills, and may have to bear increased costs from homeless shelters and hospitals.

To address the problem, some cities are trying a new tactic: provide tenants with free legal counsel in housing court. In eviction proceedings, the vast majority of landlords, 85 to 90 percent in some housing courts, show up to court with a lawyer, while tenants often face eviction without legal counsel.

The idea is that tenants with lawyers have a better chance of reaching agreements with landlords so they can stay in their homes — and avoid having an eviction on their record, which makes it harder to find another place to live.

Read the full article