NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Stout recently conducted an independent study regarding the costs and benefits to the City of Philadelphia if it were to provide attorneys to low-income tenants facing eviction. Stout conducted a similar analysis for New York which helped support landmark legislation in 2017.
Commissioned by the Philadelphia Bar Association, Stout's 52-page report – Economic Return on Investment of Providing Counsel in Philadelphia Eviction Cases for Low-Income Tenants – concluded that the benefits associated with providing attorneys to low-income tenants far exceed the costs. The study found that eviction-related costs to the City of Philadelphia are abundant and can be disastrous to low-income families already struggling to make ends meet and seeking stability. These disruptions to family stability can be extremely costly to the City of Philadelphia and many other cities in which residents face similar circumstances.
The study references research demonstrating that the displacement and disruption arising from the eviction process leads to: job loss, poor performance in school for children, physical and mental health issues, increased city shelter and other emergency housing costs, increased administrative burden for courts, negative impacts on credit scores and the ability to re-rent, and the deterioration of communities when people must move away from their support systems.
The cited benefits of preventing tenants from experiencing such displacement or disruption include: reductions in shelter costs, hospital costs (emergency room and inpatient), mental health costs, juvenile delinquency, and the number of eviction cases. Moreover, improvements related to tenant living conditions, court efficiencies, educational outcomes, community stability, confidence in the justice system, exercising of tenants' rights, and the preservation of affordable housing stock are also realized.
Stout estimated that the return on investment to the City of Philadelphia would be over $12 – that is, for every dollar Philadelphia spends on providing legal representation to low-income tenants, it will receive a benefit of more than $12.
Stout is a leading independent advisory firm specializing in Investment Banking, Valuation Advisory, Dispute Consulting, and Management Consulting. The study's author, Neil Steinkamp, is a strategic consultant with expertise and experience involving a variety of socioeconomic issues related to access to justice and the needs of low-income individuals and at-risk communities. He has led housing studies focusing on cost/benefit analyses for expanded legal representation in eviction cases, the sufficiency of housing subsidies, and eviction outcomes and trends. Learn more at stout.com.