Two randomized pilot projects in Massachusetts in 2009 involving eviction cases showed prevented evictions, protected the rights of tenants, and maintained shelter in a high rate of cases.
This is a review of the foreclosure crisis including the number of persons without legal representation in selected counties with high rates of foreclosure, why having a lawyer matters, the barriers to legal representation, concluding with recommendations.
The Impact of Legal Counsel on Outcomes for Poor Tenants in New York City’s Housing Court: Results of a Randomized Experiment
Tenants with pro bono representation from the program did significantly better than tenants that did not have representation. Representation did not significantly impair the court system’s efficiency.
Civil Legal Services and Medical Legal Partnerships Needed by the Homeless Population: A National Survey
Surveying a sample of 48 homeless service sites across 26 states, this study seeks to better understand Medical-Legal Partnership on a national scale. Results indicate that a vast majority of patients experience at least one civil legal issue, most often related to housing, employment, health insurance, and disability benefits. In addition, most sites lacked training to screen for civil legal issues and reported an interest in developing partnerships to better serve vulnerable populations.
Roles Beyond Lawyers: Summary and Recommendations of an Evaluation of the New York City Court Navigators Program
This report found that tenants facing eviction in New York City were able to get significantly better results under an innovative program that uses “court navigators,” who are not lawyers. The New York City Court Navigators Program seeks to address a considerable imbalance in legal representation, since, at the time of the study, approximately 90 percent of tenants did not have a lawyer, while the vast majority of landlords did.
This non-randomized study tracked and compared outcomes for tenants facing eviction in a single California trial court, all of whom received unbundled help drafting a responsive pleading. The provision of unbundled legal services had no measurable impact on ultimate outcomes.
How Effective Are Limited Legal Assistance Programs? A Randomized Experiment in a Massachusetts Housing Court
This article reports the findings of a randomized control trial comparing the effectiveness of two alternative programs of legal representation for occupants of housing units in parts of the Massachusetts North Shore.
In this article, John Pollock discusses three recent studies comparing full representation to limited assistance in the eviction context, and cautions there is still much to learn.
The Limits of Unbundled Legal Assistance: A Randomized Study in a Massachusetts District Court and Prospects for the Future
In a District Court in Massachusetts, researchers randomly selected tenants facing eviction to receive full representation or limited, unbundled assistance. They find there are better results if tenants were offered full representation. Further, the offer did not increase court burdens.
The Financial Cost and Benefits of Establishing a Right to Counsel in Eviction Proceedings Under Intro 214-A
Stout Risius Ross, Inc. conducted a cost / benefit analyses regarding the cost of City Council Intro 214-A, legislation that would establish a right to counsel in housing cases. The report concludes that New York City would realize a benefit from Intro 214-A of $320 million annually.