Housing mediation services

Evidence Rating  
Evidence rating: Insufficient Evidence

Strategies with this rating have limited research documenting effects. These strategies need further research, often with stronger designs, to confirm effects.

Health Factors  
Date last updated

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.

What could this strategy improve?

Expected Benefits

Our evidence rating is based on the likelihood of achieving these outcomes:

  • Increased housing stability

  • Reduced homelessness

What does the research say about 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 tenancy1; however, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

How could this strategy impact health disparities? This strategy is rated likely to decrease disparities.
Implementation Examples

Basic mediation services are available in most states. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides local information for all 50 states about rental assistance, including housing counseling and mediation services2.

Many non-profit organizations provide housing mediation services, often along with other housing supports. Some examples include Dane County, Wisconsin’s Tenant Resource Center and California’s Project Sentinel, which provides services in English and Spanish3, 4.

Implementation Resources

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.

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


* Journal subscription may be required for access.

1 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.

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

3 TRC - Tenant Resource Center (TRC).

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