September 7, 2021

How to Harness the Legal System to Prevent Evictions

Zoom panelists

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down the CDC eviction moratorium has accelerated the urgency around eviction prevention efforts.

As the country continues to grapple with the health and economic fallouts of Covid-19, the pending eviction crisis threatens to further harm renters – particularly in communities of color – who have already been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 health crisis and economic recession.

Despite the Court’s ruling, the judicial and legal systems remain an innovative pathway to protect residents from eviction while state and local governments work to deliver emergency rental assistance.

This summer, we launched a four-part eviction prevention webinar series to address the housing stability of renter households as the nation works toward an equitable recovery.  

Supported by JPMorgan Chase & Company, the series provides critical information, tools and best practices to a wide range of partners – including property owners, tenant advocates and policy makers.

For our most recent webinar, we hosted a panel on harnessing the legal system to prevent evictions. As the nation urgently seeks to prevent renters from losing their homes with the expiration of the federal eviction moratorium, the legal and judicial systems offer a viable path to effective eviction-prevention strategies.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice have made a national call to judges, attorneys and court administrators to institute protocols and practices that ensure household stability.

In this panel discussion, we explored the role the legal and judicial systems play in the eviction process, the impact of court policies and processes on tenants, and the safeguards needed to ensure that renters can avoid eviction – and create an even playing field when eviction filings do happen.

Our experts shared a range of strategies that leaders in the legal system and in courts can implement and highlighted best practices that can both stem the tide of the pending eviction crisis and provide long-term stability for families.

Speakers included:

Four Key Takeaways From the Panel

  1. Court systems can act now to divert or delay potentially avoidable evictions and to connect renters and housing providers to rental assistance resources.
  2. There are financial and technical resources available to support these efforts.
  3. Effective communication is critical so renters and housing providers are aware of their rights, responsibilities and available resources.
  4. Even when evictions are unavoidable, there are strategies to reduce the long-term harm to residents.

Our Eviction Prevention Webinar Series

Our first panel in July, Eviction Prevention as a Preservation Strategy, examined the connection between housing stability and eviction prevention as strategies for the long-term preservation of our affordable housing stock.

Register for the next event in the series on Tuesday, September 28: “Landlords as Stewards of Housing Stability.”

Our fourth and final webinar in the series will take place in October (date and time to be announced) and focus on upstream prevention efforts to eliminate eviction risk. Please be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to find out more about our future events.

Additional Resources for Advocates, Practitioners and Policymakers

The panelists highlighted a range of critical resources that can support efforts in your communities:

Federal Guidance and Resources on Eviction Prevention and Access to Rental Assistance

Civil Rights and Unlawful Evictions Resources

Opp360 logo

For full access to our tools and resources, please provide the information below.

We use this data to better understand our users; we do not sell or share this data. By providing this information, you can expect to receive newsletters and other updates from Opportunity360.