Eviction Resolution Project

Preventing Displacement and Fostering Housing Stability in Guilford County

CHCS has conducted research on evictions in Greensboro for several years. Now, in partnership with Legal Aid of NC and the Greensboro Housing Coalition, we are launching a one-year demonstration project to intervene in eviction cases and help tenants remain in their homes. This innovative program will provide legal assistance and in appropriate cases emergency financial assistance to tenants. The program also will link tenants to needed social services addressing long-term issues of health care, domestic violence, job training and substance abuse. This way, in addition resolving the immediate eviction crisis, the program will try to get at the underlying contributing factors and break the endless cycles of eviction and homelessness. With the demonstration project launched, CHCS will assume the role of program evaluator. We are in the process of developing and securing funding for developmental and summative evaluation to continue over the one-year term of the program and around six months afterward.



Eviction In Greensboro

In general, evictions have a negative impact on at least three groups:

  • Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in American Cities  offers a vivid description of the multiple impacts of eviction on tenants. Tenants, like the families in Evicted, who lose everything they have acquired and must start over, now with limited options due to evictions on their records and with psychological scarring from the trauma.
  • Landlords who lose rent, pay court filing costs and spend time in court, prepare the house or apartment for re-renting, market it, and wait until new tenants pay deposits.
  • Local institutions: Public schools whose students enroll and withdraw repeatedly; hospitals whose patients’ chronic diseases become uncontrolled in the stressful process; homeless shelters who provide temporary space for displaced tenants; and other community agencies and support systems.

In our recent analysis of summary ejectment court proceedings, we found that 99% of cases involve non-payment of rent (based on landlord filing). While other municipalities have begun to consider “right to counsel” ordinances in eviction cases (see righttocounselnyc.org), tenants in Greensboro seldom appear in court (1 out of 4 cases) and lack legal representation when they do appear. We also conducting interviews with individuals who were evicted. Here’s some of what heard: