Greensboro, N.C. (January 4, 2021) – UNC Greensboro (UNCG) and the Foundation for a Healthy High Point (FHHP) are bringing the Eviction Mediation Project to High Point, to address a wave of evictions resulting from the pandemic as well as the city’s higher than average eviction rates in previous years.
“Our comprehensive program will provide relief to an overburdened court system and help to coordinate resources between various community agencies currently providing emergency rental assistance,” said Dr. Stephen Sills, director of the UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies, which administers the project.
The mediation service is available to any Guilford County tenant or landlord involved in a case where a tenant is at risk of eviction or where eviction papers have been filed. Cases can also be referred to the mediation service by the Greensboro Housing Coalition and Legal Aid NC’s Eviction Resolution Project, City of Greensboro and City of High Point departments, the Guilford County Small Claims Court, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department, and local agencies providing rental assistance.
The Eviction Mediation Project launched in December of 2020, with funding from the United Way of Greensboro, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and the City of Greensboro. It now expands to the High Point area with $30,000 in support from FHHP.
“This is an important step in improving the long-term health of our community,” said FHHP Interim Executive Director Allen Smart.
Approximately three families were evicted from their homes every day in High Point in 2016, according to data from Princeton Eviction Lab. And those statistics don’t tell the whole story. “Formal eviction rates are high in High Point and Greensboro,” said Sills, “but the actual eviction rates – which include informal evictions such as landlords padlocking doors and threatening tenants until they leave – are even higher.”
By strengthening links between existing resources for residents seeking rent assistance and employment, project leaders hope they will also improve housing stability and reduce poverty in the years after the pandemic.
“This effort to mediate eviction cases before people lose their housing is a well-thought out strategy that responds to immediate needs, but importantly sets up a system that can support vulnerable High Point residents into the future,” said Smart.
About Foundation for Healthy High Point
The Foundation for a Healthy High Point exists to encourage, support, influence, and invest in efforts that improve health and wellness throughout Greater High Point. The foundation’s tagline, “Leadership for change,” exemplifies its intent to be a leader in collaboration, and support initiatives that improve the long-term health of the community. The foundation accomplishes this by examining health issues and identifying evidence-based practices to improve health and wellness in Greater High Point.
About UNC Greensboro Center for Housing and Community Studies
The Center for Housing and Community Studies is a community-engaged and applied research center at UNC Greensboro specializing in geospatial research, multi-modal data collection, and mixed-method analysis. The center uses these skills to develop community-informed solutions to social problems addressing housing and neighborhood issues for governments, nonprofits, foundations, and institutions of higher education.
About UNC Greensboro
UNC Greensboro, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is 1 of only 40 doctoral institutions recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for both high research activity and community engagement. Founded in 1891 and one of the original three UNC System institutions, UNC Greensboro is one of the most diverse universities in the state with 20,000+ students, and 3,000+ faculty and staff members representing 90+ nationalities. With 17 Division I athletic teams, 85 undergraduate degrees in over 125 areas of study, as well as 74 master’s and 32 doctoral programs, UNC Greensboro is consistently recognized nationally among the top universities for academic excellence and value, with noted strengths in health and wellness, visual and performing arts, nursing, education, and more. For additional information, please visit uncg.edu and follow UNCG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.