More than two years ago, amid the looming threat of a rush of evictions as Illinois prepared to end its pandemic-era eviction moratorium, RSI partnered with the circuit court in Kane County to create a mediation program. It was free of cost to both tenants and landlords.
The program’s impact has been impressive. Since the eviction moratorium ended in October 2021, the Kane County Eviction Mediation Program has helped over 1,500 households avoid the traumatic effects of a sheriff’s eviction. Meanwhile, the program’s connections to rental assistance and legal and financial counseling have made it far more possible for these tenants to meet their financial obligations to landlords.
Judge John Dalton, the 16th Circuit’s presiding eviction judge, also credits the program with helping the court run smoothly.
“With the help of RSI, Kane County was the first in Illinois to launch an eviction mediation program, and we have been overwhelmingly pleased with the outcomes,” Judge Dalton says. “It has been successful in assisting landlords and tenants in reaching mutually beneficial agreements. Thanks to this program, the court has been able to run efficiently during an eviction surge.”
RSI regularly surveys Kane County Eviction Mediation Program participants as one way to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. And participants have told us that mediation helps them feel heard and seen — as one tenant said, “like an actual person and not just some case number.”
As the weather turns colder and the potential consequences of eviction wax even harsher, RSI’s Kane County Eviction Mediation Program continues, with the support of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, the 16th Circuit Court, dozens of dedicated mediators, a few hard-working RSI staff members, and generous donors such as yourself.
Thank you for your commitment to RSI’s work. If you’d like to invest in impactful endeavors such as the Kane County Eviction Mediation Program, you can do so on our website.