Addressing the Eviction Crisis:
An Evaluation of Two Court-Based Eviction Diversion Programs in Pennsylvania
In the this report, we examined the impact of two eviction diversion programs in the state: Eviction Prevention Court in Chester County, and the eviction diversion program in the Berks County city of Reading. From our analysis of court records, as well as in-depth conversations with eviction judges and nine program participants, we were able to study how these eviction diversion programs were able to intervene in eviction cases and foster housing stability.
• Both of the eviction diversion programs provided and coordinated a set of services to better address a range of needs, combining outreach to tenants and landlords, rental assistance, legal assistance, and close coordination of these and other services.
• Landlords were more likely to voluntarily withdraw cases, and settlements between landlords and tenants became more common after the diversion programs started.
• The tenants we interviewed praised the diversion programs and credited them with helping to keep their homes and find (or keep) employment.
• The judges whose courts participated in the programs described the programs as winwins, helping both landlords and tenants.
• More tenants were able to avoid judgments against them, and eviction orders became less common after the eviction diversion programs came into effect.