Dealing with eviction or the threat of eviction can be a harrowing experience. But more communities are helping individuals and families avoid this nightmare by turning to eviction prevention measures as they recognize the benefits of keeping tenants in stable housing.
Getting evicted is particularly traumatic for mothers and their children as a study published in Social Forces points out. Researchers discovered that "mothers who were evicted in the previous year experienced more material hardship, were more likely to suffer from depression, reported worse health for themselves and their children, and reported more parenting stress" than mothers who were not evicted. Even worse, these harmful effects lingered years after the eviction happened.
Beyond keeping children and families healthy, stable housing also serves another important function - it saves communities money. An August 2015 NeighborWorks blog piece highlights the cost savings citing two different studies. The first found that rental properties "with a dedicated resident-services staff had lower losses due to vacancies, legal fees and bad debts compared to those without this type of programming," and the second found that rental properties "with eviction-prevention programming saved $38 per unit per year."
Keeping people housed also means communities spend less on expensive temporary housing. The Coalition for the Homeless, the nation's oldest homeless services organization, estimates keeping a family in a home saves taxpayers $38,000 per year in shelter costs. The Coalition prevented eviction for 660 households last year, saving taxpayers over $14 million in averted shelter costs.
Recognizing the key social and financial benefits of preventing eviction, more nonprofit organizations and housing providers are employing effective measures to keep tenants in housing. The NeighborWorks piece referenced above details the components of successful eviction prevention programs. Best practices include providing stable funding for the eviction prevention program, coordinating efforts among different departments within an organization, identifying triggers that signal someone is at risk of losing housing, providing effective interventions to prevent evictions, and having good ways to measure success.
Eviction Prevention Assistance in Texas
If you or someone you know is at risk of eviction, we encourage you to check out these resources for Texans.
- Visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) website, and find help in three easy steps.
- TDHCA also administers the federal Emergency Solutions Grant program which provides funding for shelters, rapid re-housing for homeless individuals and families, and homeless prevention measures for individuals and families. You can find a list of 2014 grant awardees through this program here.
- Additionally, TDHCA oversees the Homeless Housing and Services Program, a state-funded program to provide housing for homeless persons in the state's eight largest cities. Click here for contact information for entities allocated funds in each of the eight cities.
- Visit needhelppayingbills.com for a thorough list of agencies that provide housing support and/or eviction prevention services across the state.
**Please note that the purpose of this blog is to be informative. TSAHC cannot provide advice about specific circumstances or situations. If you have a question or concern, please contact your local tenants council or legal aid service.
On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.