If the city invested $3.5 million per year to fund counsel for low-income tenants, the city would save $45 million per year in the following costs, plus other unquantifiable benefits:
$26 million in shelter costs
$7.5 million in inpatient hospital costs
$1 million in ER costs
$7.5 million in mental health costs
The study found that the cost/benefit for the city would be $12.74 benefit for every $1 invested in providing counsel.
Representation by a lawyer makes an impact on the outcome of an eviction case: Without a lawyer, 78% of tenants are disruptively displaced. With a lawyer, only 5% are disruptively displaced – 95% avoid that displacement.
If the city invests $3.5 million in funding for counsel for low-income tenants, approximately 14,000 people (in 4,400 households) will be assisted in avoiding disruptive displacement each year.
There was extensive local and national publicity about the Stout study, which was generated in large part by communications assistance provided by Voices for Civil Justice and BerlinRosen. Click here to review the media coverage.