Kicking Evictions Out

When residents maintain housing and have more money to spend on food and healthcare, their lives become more predictable and stable. Eviction is a serious problem, it turns lives upside down and can lead to homelessness.  With growing concerns over the country’s rising rents, more people are learning that eviction — even if it doesn’t happen to them — is exponentially detrimental to the entire community.

To better understand this issue, we did a five-year analysis of evictions and found that Resident Services programs combined with community events, reduces eviction rates. For Mercy Housing supporters, these results may come as no surprise, but for those less familiar with affordable housing, it explains how irreplaceable resident services are for affordable housing residents. Households that participated in services had longer average lengths of residency, meaning that they weren’t as likely to rely on less-stable housing, like homeless shelters and moving between temporary living situations. Of all the non-evicted households, 46% participated in resident services. These findings were true for all ages, races, and ethnicities nationwide.

As Mercy Housing offers supportive services, community events, and below-market rental rates, we always strive to understand and improve upon our work. We use demographic data to inform our decision-making process across our service area. Here are some recent stats:

  • 85% of Mercy Housing ’s residents successfully maintain housing on an annual basis.
  • Mercy Housing residents spend less than 30% of their income on housing, leaving more money for food and healthcare costs.
  • A family in our new homes spend an average of 60% of their income on goods and services from local businesses.
Mission Creek Senior Community in San Francisco, Calif.

Affordable housing nonprofits, advocates, and partners have witnessed the connection between resident services and lowered eviction rates for years. Neighborhoods prosper when residents maintain housing, spend less income on rent, and invest more in their community. We hope this data will be used to support the growth of affordable housing and resident services across the country, not just for Mercy Housing, but everyone. This study allows us to share our insight to expand lease education efforts, engage early with those at risk of eviction, and continue outreach to all residents. We want to see more people in a home where they can focus on family, health, and dreams.

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