New Research Offers Guidance on Preventing and Mitigating Evictions after the COVID-19 Crisis

Date Published: 
February 8th, 2023

New research from the Urban Institute and Enterprise Community Partners has identified five principles for strengthening tenant stability and eviction prevention as renter protections from the COVID-19 pandemic begin to lapse. PHAs and owners are facing post-pandemic financial stresses, higher staff turnover, higher costs, and spikes in rent delinquency. The report presents a framework that owners and managers can use as a starting point to strengthen tenant stability.

The first component of the framework is to remove barriers for tenants in their housing search and use transparent processes when establishing tenancy. The framework advises using clear, accessible, and equitable communication through all stages of tenancy, as tenants are more likely to comply with lease terms they understand. Owners can also proactively connect tenants to resources and encourage communities of support, to help tenants stay stable throughout their tenancy. These measures can build trust and help tenants proactively reach out before challenges arise.

Allowing flexibility in terms, processes, and payments for renters can reduce the likelihood of eviction. Finally, owners can also commit to procedures that prioritize eviction diversion in the case of nonpayment or late payment. Doing so can serve as a final opportunity to communicate about resources available to address the underlying violation, and if the tenant does decide to move, mediation can facilitate a less destabilizing transition. 

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