Helping Tenants Avoid Evictions

A new study funded by the Public Welfare Foundation 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 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. The study was conducted by researchers from the American Bar Foundation and the National Center for State Courts.

The umbrella program consisted of three pilot projects that used the court navigators – trained and supervised personnel who did not have full, formal legal training – to give one-on-one assistance to unrepresented litigants in New York City’s Housing and Civil Courts. 

Among the key findings highlighted in the study:  

To see an executive summary and the full report, click here.    

Click to see coverage of the report by WNYC and The Wall Street Journal.



The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.

Stay Informed with our eNewsletter