Housing mediation services

Housing mediation services facilitate mediation between tenants and landlords to resolve conflict and prevent eviction. Often provided through housing counseling agencies, local consumer agencies, or small claims court advisors, services are available to all renters and landlords, but are most often used by lower income renters.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Increased housing stability

  • Reduced homelessness

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether housing mediation services increase housing stability and reduce homelessness. Available evidence suggests that participation in mediation through housing courts may help preserve tenancy (); however, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Impact on Disparities

Likely to decrease disparities

Implementation Examples

Basic mediation services are available in most states. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides local information for all 50 states about rental assistance, including housing counseling and mediation services (US HUD-Renting).

Many non-profit organizations provide housing mediation services, often along with other housing supports. Some examples include Kentucky’s Housing Mediation organization, Dane County, Wisconsin’s Tenant Resource Center, and California’s Project Sentinel, which provides services in English and Spanish (HMS-Mediation, TRC).

Implementation Resources

CA DCA-Mediation - California Department of Consumer Affairs (CA DCA). Local mediation programs: An alternative method of resolving complaints without having to go to court.

MSU-Resource guide - Michigan State University (MSU) College of Law. Tenants and landlords resource guide: Information for tenants and landlords about their rights and responsibilities in rental relationships.

NHLP-Help for tenants - National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Help for tenants, homeowners, and homeless people.

SWD-Housing resources - SocialWorkDegree.net (SWD). Fair housing & social work: Online resources.

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Burt 2007* - Burt MR, Pearson C, Montgomery AE. Community-wide strategies for preventing homelessness: Recent evidence. Journal of Primary Prevention. 2007;28(3-4):213-28.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

TRC - Tenant Resource Center (TRC).

US HUD-Renting - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Local renting information.

Project Sentinel* - Project Sentinel. A HUD-approved housing counseling agency: Providing housing solutions and community mediation since 1976.

HMS-Mediation - Housing Mediation Services (HMS). Housing Mediation Services provides free, independent dispute resolution.

Date Last Updated

Jul 27, 2016