Syracuse Is Finding Ways to Prevent Evictions

Syracuse has begun experimenting with an eviction-prevention program that aims to stop tenants from having to go to court in the first place.

News Story (New York)

Jared Brey
April 18, 2019

Tags: Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services of Central New York


Under the program, two case managers will reach out to tenants as few as five days after they miss a rent payment to offer assistance. In some cases, the city or the housing authority can offer one-time financial assistance or payment plans to get caught up on the rent. They can also help recalculate a tenant’s rent if they’ve recently lost a job.

The program is showing results, officials say. According to Sue McMahon, the Emergency Services Grant (ESG) program administrator in the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development, the number of eviction cases filed in landlord-tenant court by the Syracuse Housing Authority dropped from 834 in 2017 to 203 in 2018, the year the pilot began. The 75 percent drop also saved the housing authority $116,000 by reducing legal fees and preventing lost rents, as reported last month. The pilot is funded by a $75,000 ESG grant, matched by the Syracuse Housing Authority, McMahon says.