December 16, 2021
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Tuesday announced $20 million in inaugural grants from its Eviction Protection Grant Program, the first of its kind for the Department. These grants will be awarded to legal service providers to assist in providing legal assistance to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. The Eviction Protection Grant Program is part of HUD’s continued work, as part of a whole of government approach, to support families recovering from the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
HUD has selected and offered grants to 10 organizations from across the country to support their ability to expand resolution options for clients at risk of eviction. Over 100 applications were submitted for consideration, making the grant selection process highly competitive.
“As families continue to feel the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and local eviction moratoria expire, we must continue to do all that we can to prevent evictions and keep people housed,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Research shows that access to legal services and eviction diversion programs can help renters avoid eviction and the many harmful outcomes that come along with eviction actions. These programs can also benefit court systems and landlords by reducing eviction caseloads for local court systems and helping landlords access emergency rental assistance so they can maintain housing quality during these uncertain times. That is why our Department is proud to release an inaugural Eviction Protection Grant Program to ensure eviction protection services reach the people who need it most.”
“HUD’s award of Eviction Protection Grants to the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and Legal Assistance of Western New York comes at a critical time as New York State’s moratorium on COVID-related evictions is scheduled to expire on January 15, 2022,” said Stephen Murphy, HUD Deputy Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “This funding will allow the grantees to provide essential legal assistance at no cost to low-income tenants facing eviction, including those living in rural areas. The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York with offices in Albany, Amsterdam, Canton, Plattsburgh, and Saratoga Springs can be reached at (833) 628-0087. The contact information for Legal Assistance of Western New York is found at lawny.org/ContactUs.”
The Eviction Protection Grant Program supports experienced legal service providers in providing legal assistance at no cost to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. Through HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, the grants were made available to legal service providers serving or expanding services in areas with high rates of eviction or prospective evictions, including rural areas. This grant program plays an integral role in helping individuals and families, including people of color who are disproportionately represented among those evicted, people with limited English proficiency and people with disabilities, avoid eviction or minimize the disruption and damage caused by the eviction process.
HUD plans to award grants to the following non-profit legal services providers:
|Recipient||City||State||Amount of Award|
|Advocates For Basic Legal Equality||Toledo||OH||$1,000,000.00|
|Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation||Atlanta||GA||$1,800,000.00|
|Community Legal Aid, Inc.||Worchester||MA||$2,400,000.00|
|Connecticut Fair Housing Center||Hartford||CT||$2,400,000.00|
|Idaho Legal Aid Services||Boise||ID||$1,800,000.00|
|Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc.||Jacksonville||FL||$2,400,000.00|
|Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas
|Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York||Albany||NY||$2,400,000.00|
|Legal Assistance of Western New York, Inc.||Geneva||NY||$2,400,000.00|
|Legal Services of Eastern Missouri||St. Louis||MO||$2,400,000.00|
You can learn more about the extent and impacts of evictions and best practices for addressing them through:
- HUD’s latest edition of Evidence Matters here.
- Benefits of eviction diversion programs here.
- Watch a live conversation on what we know about the eviction crisis through PD&R’s upcoming Quarterly Briefing on December 9th. You can sign up here.
One of the leading interventions to prevent evictions is providing legal assistance to at-risk tenants. Research shows that legal representation helps tenants remain housed while also delivering financial savings to the jurisdictions. For example, a study in Baltimore found that an annual investment of $5.7 million in a right to counsel program in Baltimore would yield $35.6 million in benefits or costs avoided to the city and state. (Stout Risius Ross, LLC. May 8, 2020. The Economic Impact of an Eviction Right to Counsel in Baltimore City).
A right to counsel in eviction proceedings has consistently been found to significantly reduce evictions (Eviction Right to Counsel Resource Center). A study in Minnesota found fully represented tenants win or settle their cases 96 percent of the time and clients receiving limited representation win or settle their cases 83 percent of the time. These figures compare with just 62 percent of tenants without any representation. Tenants with full representation were twice as likely to stay in their homes or got twice as much time to move, left court without an eviction record, and were four times less likely to use homeless shelters (Grundman & Kruger, 2018, Legal Representation in Evictions – Comparative Study). An analysis of California’s Shriver Housing Pilot Projects found clients with full representation were significantly less likely to end their cases by default (8 percent) than were self-represented defendants (26 percent) and on average had more days to move, were ordered less often to pay holdover damages, landlord attorney fees, and other costs (NPC Research, 2017).