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Second round of eviction funding awarded to 10 courts

Second round of eviction funding awarded to 10 courts

August 16, 2023 -- NCSC has expanded its Eviction Diversion Initiative to 10 additional jurisdictions as part of its second round of grant awards.

These courts will receive a total of more than $2 million to respond to the country’s growing eviction crisis by implementing court-based eviction diversion programs that connect landlords and tenants with stabilizing resources that can prevent or reduce the harm of eviction. Funding for the program was made possible through a $10 million Wells Fargo Foundation grant awarded to NCSC in 2021 to strengthen eviction diversion efforts in state courts and improve housing stability.

Through partnerships with legal, financial, and social service providers in their communities, participating courts establish diversion programs that offer alternative solutions to housing problems and promote housing and financial stability.

The new set of courts to join the Eviction Diversion Initiative include:

  • Colorado: 4th Judicial District Court, Colorado Springs
  • Kansas: Douglas County Court, Lawrence
  • Kentucky: Jefferson County District Court, Louisville
  • Ohio: Akron Municipal Court
  • Oklahoma: Tulsa County District Court
  • Oregon: Clatsop County Circuit Court, Astoria
  • Tennessee: Shelby County General Sessions Court, Memphis
  • Texas: Harris County Precinct 1 & 2, Houston
  • Utah: Third District Court, Salt Lake City
  • Washington: Clark County Superior Court, Vancouver

“We are pleased to expand our eviction diversion efforts to such a diverse group,” said Laurie Givens, NCSC Vice President for Court Consulting Services. “As we continue to see a marked increase in evictions following the pandemic, it becomes even more critically important that courts find ways to proactively connect landlords and tenants with the information and resources necessary to resolve their housing problems in the least harmful way.”

Over the past year, the Eviction Diversion Initiative has enabled courts in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia to hire dedicated court staff and create holistic, sustainable, and community-driven eviction diversion programs that use the formal court process to connect landlords and tenants with stabilizing resources.

One of the first-round recipients, the Lawrence Township Small Claims Court in Indianapolis, has already seen decreased evictions related to their diversion efforts. In the first six months of 2023, court data shows that nearly 90 percent of filed eviction cases were dismissed without an eviction being entered against the tenant.

“We find that a lot of the self-represented landlords actually enjoy going to see the [(eviction diversion)] facilitator first to work out payment arrangements and negotiate resolutions to their cases because both sides can feel uncomfortable coming to court,” Judge Kimberly Bacon recently told WISH-TV.

Call for Article Submissions

Trends in State Courts is an annual, peer-reviewed publication that highlights innovative practices in critical areas that are of interest to courts, and often serves as a guide for developing new initiatives and programs, as well as informing and supporting policy decisions. Trends in State Courts is the only publication of its kind and enjoys a wide circulation among the state court community.

Submissions for the 2024 edition are now being accepted. Please email abstracts of no more than 500 words by October 16, 2023 to John Holtzclaw. We are interested in all aspects of court and court management but will give preferential consideration for mental health, court technology, and DEI initiatives. Abstracts received after this date are welcome and may be considered for next year's edition. Visit the Trends in State Courts webpage for detailed article submission guidelines.