As COVID-19 continues to ebb and flow unpredictably, many renters struggle to pay back rent and are facing housing insecurity. In turn, landlords, especially “mom and pop” landlords, are struggling to pay their mortgages and maintain their properties. Housing experts have been predicting a surge in eviction cases for over a year now, and that has begun to bear out in many places throughout the country. More than ever, courts are looking to mediation as a primary tool to help address these filings.
The expertise RSI has developed over more than 25 years of developing, operating and evaluating court mediation programs is now enabling us to play a vital role at the forefront of this crisis. Still, I have been at RSI since its inception, and I have never seen the pace and number of new court mediation programs we are developing, operating and evaluating.
In Illinois, which lifted its moratorium on eviction filings on October 3, RSI is:
- Mediating between tenants and landlords to avoid eviction where possible
- Helping tenants and landlords obtain rental relief
- Directing tenants and landlords without lawyers to legal information
Nationally, RSI is:
- Sharing information on best practices in eviction mediation
- Providing courts with samples of court rules, forms, brochures, etc.
- Conducting an implementation study to guide courts in establishing eviction mediation programs
- Preparing to conduct robust evaluations of eviction mediation programs
Our eviction mediation work is a good example of what RSI is all about. We help courts and their community partners operate ADR systems that are fair, effective and accessible to all – particularly those cases in which one or both parties do not have lawyers.
Please join in me in making a contribution to RSI. You can click here or send your check to RSI at 11 East Adams Street, Suite 500, Chicago, Illinois, 60603. RSI is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, and your donation is tax-deductible as provided by law.
With sincere thanks,
Susan M. Yates
RSI Executive Director