On September 1, 2020, the City of Philadelphia launched the Eviction Diversion Program, a groundbreaking initiative to help landlords and tenants come to agreements without having to go to Court. Modeled off of the nationally-recognized Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, the Eviction Diversion Program is staffed by highly-trained counselors and volunteer mediators to resolve disputes.
As of January 10, 2022, under a new City Ordinance, landlords are required to send their tenants a Notice of Diversion Rights and apply to participate in the Eviction Diversion prior to filing an eviction case in court. Partner organizations, including Philadelphia Legal Assistance and Good Shepherd, reach out to the tenants to connect them with support in completing the rental assistance application and schedule mediation sessions to help resolve correlating or remaining issues. Here is a flowchart showing the Eviction Diversion process. Find more information and updates to the program at the Eviction Diversion Program About page and FAQ.
The Diversion Program brings together tenants, landlords, volunteer mediators and non-profit housing counselors to work out agreements. Housing Counselors work with tenants to apply for available resources including rental assistance and negotiate sustainable payment agreements.
Benefits of Diversion:
- Tenants avoid a filing or judgment on their record that could prevent them from accessing quality housing in the future.
- Landlords save money by avoiding court fees and attorney expenses.
- Fewer cases in Municipal Court means less strain on the court system.
- Low-income renters and landlords can access available rental assistance and resources.
- Landlords can recoup back rent owed and avoid vacancies and unit turnover costs.
- Mediation dates scheduled within 30 days as opposed to court dates which are currently 3-4 months behind.
- Reestablish open lines of communication between landlords and tenants.
- Eviction Diversion Ordinance 9-804 January 1, 2022
- Pennsylvania Supreme Court Order to extend the Diversion Program to August 31, 2021 July 2, 2021
- Municipal Court’s Request to extend the Diversion Program to August 31, 2021 July 1, 2021
- Letter from the Department of Justice to the State Supreme Courts advising on Diversion Program June 24, 2021
- Municipal Court Order to extend the Eviction Moratorium to June 30, 2021 May 13, 2021
- Emergency Housing Protection Act
- Implementing documents
- Emergency Rental Assistance Portal
- Eviction Diversion portal
- “Preventing Evictions Remains Critical to Controlling COVID-19, Study Finds” Penn Medicine News, April 20, 2021
- “Eviction Prevention and Diversion Programs: Early Lessons from the Pandemic” Urban Institute study highlighting Philadelphia’s PEPP and Eviction Diversion Program as a national model, April 27, 2021
- “Safe at Home” The Philadelphia Citizen, November 21, 2022
- “Philly’s program that prevents evictions will continue through 2022” January 11, 2022
- “Inside Philadelphia’s eviction diversion program” October 19, 2021
- “Know thy tenant: Philadelphia’s eviction diversion model keeps” (PDF Version) September 24, 2021
- “Cities find creative ways to keep people in their homes as CDC set to lift eviction ban” NBC News, July 6, 2021
- “Readout of the White House Eviction Prevention Summit” The White House, June 30, 2021
- “Tiny Chat 49: Eviction Diversion” National Center for State Courts, April 27, 2021
- “New Study Examines How Halting Evictions Helped Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 in Philly” Philadelphia Magazine, April 27, 2021
- “Philly may have just revolutionized evictions” Philadelphia Inquirer April 5, 2021
- “Philadelphia Tries Mediation to Prevent Evictions” YES! Media, March 31, 2021
- “Eviction filings are at a historic low. Philly has 90 days to keep it that way.” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 9, 2021
- “Instead of eviction, landlords and tenants talk it out” The Current, March 11, 2021
- “Philadelphia Bar Association Praises Extension of City of Philadelphia Eviction Diversion Program” Philadelphia Bar Association News, Dec 10, 2020
- “Solving landlord-tenants disputes outside of court and without eviction should be the norm.” Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec 6, 2020
- “Philly’s Eviction Diversion Program shows some early success” Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec 4, 2020
- “‘It’s a conversation’: Philly’s alternative to landlord-tenant court is preventing eviction” Plan Philly, Nov 24, 2020
- “To halt evictions, US cities turn to mediation programmes” City Monitor, Sept 28, 2020
- “‘Do you know anywhere I can go?’: Evictions continue even as city, CDC tries to halt wave” Plan Philly, Sept 2, 2020
- “I was a Philly judge in 2008. We need to act now to stop the next economic crisis” Plan Philly, June 4, 2020