INDIANA – The Allen Superior Court in Fort Wayne and the Lawrence Township Small Claims Court in Marion County has received grants from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Eviction Diversion Initiative to strengthen eviction diversion efforts and improve housing stability in Indiana.
The Allen Superior Court in Fort Wayne and the Lawrence Township Small Claims Court in Marion County was selected through a competitive application process and review by an advisory council led by NCSC.
Both Indiana judges are eager to continue their efforts. Judge Jennifer DeGroote of Allen County explained, “Over the past two years our community has faced challenges that we never imagined. The pandemic aggravated already serious problems posed by the number of evictions we experience in Allen County. Building a dedicated Eviction Diversion Initiative will benefit tenants and landlords, keep more people in their homes, and diminish the profound impact on lives that can result from a loss of housing.”
Judge Kimberly Bacon of Marion County echoed the sentiments and said, “Developing a dedicated Eviction Diversion Initiative evolved out of necessity, resulting from long time eviction challenges. The loss of shelter impacts every other aspect of one’s life. The Eviction Diversion Initiative will be beneficial to both tenants and landlords in many creative ways, providing real solutions to eviction challenges.”
Each court will use the grant funding to hire dedicated staff to implement holistic, sustainable, and community-driven strategies for resolving legal problems. Successful eviction diversion programs provide landlords and tenants with the time, information, and resources necessary to resolve their housing problems without prolonged litigation.
Courts will benefit from ongoing peer learning opportunities, a national evaluation led by Stout Risius Ross LLC, and intensive technical assistance provided by NCSC as they implement eviction diversion and court reform strategies that leverage community resources including legal aid and mediation services, housing and financial counseling, and rental assistance programs.
States benefiting from the grant program include Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, along with the District of Columbia.
Visit ncsc.org/eviction for more information about NCSC’s Eviction Diversion Initiative. The Indiana Judicial Branch website has information related to evictions and facilitation.