What Strategies Prevent Tenant Evictions?

What Strategies Prevent Tenant Evictions?
Marieke Holl Linda van den Dries, Judith R. L. M. Wolf
Health and Social Care in the Community
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Tenant evictions—which can stem from financial, social, health, or other factors—can be traumatic and often cause homelessness. A history of unstable housing can also contribute to increased risk of eviction. Aside from the negative effects evictions can have on tenants, they are costly for landlords and can increase pressures on homeless shelters. This systematic review of international literature sought to overview interventions to prevent tenant evictions recorded in literature and the cost-effectiveness of those interventions. The authors searched for literature published between January 1985 and May 2012 on nine electronic databases and Google Scholar. At the time of their study, few reliable data were available on the cost-effectiveness of interventions to prevent tenant evictions, so the authors’ inclusion criteria for relevant publications were broad. The authors initially found seven articles with wide-ranging target populations and types of support that described eight interventions to prevent evictions, and they found three studies on preventive intervention.

Key findings

  • Three studies showed that debt advice, legal assistance, and intensive care management decrease the risk of eviction.
  • Mediation to settle disputes and emergency loans provided short-term assistance, but the long-term effects were not studied.
  • Little research into eviction prevention was conducted in the 25 years before this review, and only a small proportion focused on interventions to prevent evictions. More sound research is needed to determine what interventions work for different target populations.