Oct 27

WI evictions are down statewide by 28% year to date through September 30th. In Milwaukee, that percentage is slightly higher, at just under 31% reduction.

A telling part is that August evictions were much lower than last year, despite the state’s moratorium being lifted.

This drop in evictions occurred even while reported collections are down by 12-16%. In talking to property owners, I’ve been told by many they have pulled back on maintenance, some suffering the impact to the point they have forgone insurance, utility and mortgage payments.

The impact on the other side will be higher housing costs for all as owners fail, or try to make up for losses in the future.

Oct 15

The Massachusetts Governor puts $171 Million into emergency housing funding. Advocates call it “a drop in the bucket”

The story is in Boston Magazine

Oct 11

Michigan’s EDP
https://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,4641,7-141-5555-533463–,00.html

An interesting program, but I’m not sure how well it is received by housing providers as they must forgive 10% of the back rent. If anyone has a contact with apartment associations there we should ask, otherwise I’ll cold email them.

A “must read” the diversion pilot final report:
https://nationalcenterforstatecourts.app.box.com/s/n7w8zu89tbayfjr0qz6h7mn6nrg0x6qh/file/679673021905

The National Center for State Courts has a bunch of info on EDPs. The link below is a starting point.

Generally speaking, an eviction diversion program offers tenants with legal assistance largely supplied by Legal Aid services and financial assistance provided by local governments and nonprofit organizations. Some programs also include financial literacy education for tenants. Programs require the voluntary participation of both landlords and tenants. The focus of these programs is to help tenants and landlords avoid evictions where possible.

https://www.ncsc.org/information-and-resources/info-and-res-page-card-navigation/trending-topics/trending-topics-landing-pg/eviction-diversion-programs

The one common flaw in many of the existing EDP programs is they require an eviction to be filed. There are advantages to both renter and housing provider if diversion occurs prior to filing. Perhaps they feel requiring a filing would reduce fraud, or maybe it is because they were initiated in the courts and therefore are from the courts’ perspective. But requiring an eviction to be filed also reduces benefit. (costs, conflict, court resources)

Looking at pages 7-9 of the diversion pilot final report linked above, the heading should not be “You have been sued by your landlord.” but “Are you behind on your rent?”

Ultimately though the goal needs to be portable housing vouchers, i.e. FodShare for Housing, as the need has existing long before COVID.

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