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In late summer and early fall of 2023, over 3 million people thought they were at least somewhat likely to face eviction or foreclosure in the next two months

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3) introduced the Eviction Prevention Act to tackle rising housing instability by connecting low-income tenants with legal representation and enabling federal agencies to better track eviction cases.

“Far too many Americans are at an increased risk of eviction and homelessness because they don’t have access to legal representation to help them and advocate for them,” said Senator Casey. “This bill will help families stay housed and level the playing field between tenants and landlords. It’s past time we devoted more federal resources to helping families in Pennsylvania and across the Nation keep a roof over their heads.”

“It cannot be understated how devastating an eviction can be for individuals or families.” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “I understand it very well, as my family and I were evicted when I was growing up. Eviction turned our world upside down, and I know all too well how it can completely upend someone’s life. That is why I am so proud to introduce the Eviction Prevention Act with Senator Casey, legislation that will help individuals facing eviction get connected with legal counsel that can help them and their families stay housed. My home state of Connecticut has already enacted a Right to Counsel and in just a short amount of time, we have kept people in their home. The Eviction Prevention Act would build on this success and expand this critically needed program nationwide.”

“The National Housing Law Project is pleased to endorse Representative DeLauro and Senator Casey’s Eviction Prevention Act. The US affordable housing crisis is reaching a fever pitch, and evictions have risen above pre-pandemic levels. As renters navigate this dangerous market, they increasingly face rent gauging, significant rent burden, and frequent and unjust evictions. And they are taking on these challenges without adequate representation in housing court,” said Shamus Roller, Executive Director of the National Housing Law Project. “The Eviction Prevention Act would authorize new grants to provide representation to tenants, create the nation’s first federal evictions database, and generate a government report on the evictions landscape in America. The bill is essential to understanding the depth of our evictions crisis and necessary to reduce future evictions.

 “Even before the pandemic, millions of the lowest-income and most marginalized households were just one financial shock away from falling behind on their rent, losing their homes, and, in worst cases, experiencing homelessness. Today, many of these same households are even more precariously housed,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “The long-standing eviction crisis – which predominantly harms Black women – underscores the need for both urgent action and long-term solutions, including the ‘Eviction Prevention Act’ from Representative DeLauro and Senator Casey.”

The Eviction Prevention Act would address the rise in housing instability by providing state and local governments grant funding to hire attorneys to represent very low-income tenants during eviction proceedings. A study of Philadelphia eviction cases filed between 2012 and 2017 found that tenants with representation were forcibly displaced from their homes in 5% of cases, compared with 78% for unrepresented tenants. The bill would also create a national eviction database to help the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) better track eviction cases and mandate reports on the limitations of the legal system for tenants experiencing eviction.

The legislation is endorsed by National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, National League of Cities, Public Justice, A Way Home America, Community Legal Services Philadelphia, the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, and True Colors United.

Read more about the Eviction Prevention Act here.