Legal Aid Society of Columbus: Tenant Advocacy Project Evaluation

By: Thoughtwell. Published by Legal Aid Society of Columbus. Published in 2018.

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The Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP) in Columbus, Ohio was found to improve outcomes for renters.

Highlights include:

  • “With only one full-time attorney on staff, TAP provided legal services to tenants in 563 cases during the pilot period and represented 13, or 3.5%, of the 370 tenant cases in the 2017 sample. Over half of the tenants (291 out of 563) who interacted with TAP volunteers and staff were represented in court. TAP tenants were less likely to receive an outcome in favor of the landlord compared to Non-TAP (1.1% vs. 53.3%)” (p. 6).
  • “During the pilot period, TAP helped 226 tenants reach an agreed entry outcome while only 52 of the Non-TAP cases resulted in the same” (p. 7).
  • “Although data on rulings in favor of the landlord were unavailable for a large number of cases in the Non-TAP sample, TAP tenants represented by the program had a greater likelihood of avoiding an outcome that could potentially result in an eviction. This strongly suggests that the TAP program assists participants in reaching a better outcome than no TAP involvement” (p. 16).
  • “TAP volunteers rated their overall experience with the program favorably with those surveyed giving the program an average rating of 8.5 out of 10. Overall, scores ranged between 5 and 10, with 40% of volunteers rating their experience with the program as a perfect 10. … For this evaluation, a score of 7 or higher represents a favorable rating of the program (see appendix C). Of the volunteers surveyed, 93.3% provided a favorable score of seven or greater when asked to rate their overall experience with the program, while the remaining 6.7% rated their experience with an unfavorable rating below seven” (p. 19).
  • “Tenants in general had favorable experiences with TAP staff and volunteers, with the average rating of 9.5 out of 10 across all categories. Attorney ratings ranged between 4 and 10 across all categories, with the lowest rating (4) reflecting the small amount of time the attorney spent on the individual tenant’s case. … A deeper look at tenant ratings shows that 96.2% of tenants rated their experience with TAP as a seven or better across all categories, with the amount of time spent with the tenant being the only category not receiving a 100% rating” (p. 21-22).

Categories: Homeless, Housing, Housing, Legal Aid Attorneys, Legal Aid Practitioners, Researchers and Academics, State-Specific

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