The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project (CEDP) was formed in April 2020 by The Community Firm, a Colorado non-profit, social enterprise law firm. Our mission is to Keep Coloradans Housed by helping to prevent mass evictions and homelessness during and after the pandemic. The pandemic triggered unprecedented eviction risk for U.S. renters. Nationwide, more than 20M people were at risk of eviction by the end of 2020, with more than 300,000 at risk in Colorado alone.
Traditionally, eviction defense has focused on legal services. At CEDP, we are scaling a “managed care” approach to eviction prevention that centers the legal and financial needs of housing insecure families and uses a variety of tools to keep them housed. Our team of housing lawyers, economists, data analysts, policy-experts, organizers, and technologists provides four services: (1) legal representation and other services for tenants facing eviction; (2) data and research published in conjunction with the Bell Policy Center & the Aspen Institute; (3) advocacy and public policy; and (4) a rental assistance innovation fund.
Our focus in 2021 is scaling paired rental assistance and legal services through the distribution of state and private rental assistance dollars. Through negotiation and/or set deal terms, we settle bills for back and future rent at lower than face value, and pay the landlord in a single payment. The Community Firm uses the difference between the settled amount and the traditional 100% price point to fund legal assistance and resource navigation for additional renter services. After proving the efficacy of this effort in two 2020 pilots, we are scaling the effort in 2021 targeting the distribution of several million dollars in rental assistance by Q2 2021.
The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project (CEDP) was formed in April 2020 by The Community Firm, a Colorado non-profit, social enterprise law firm. Our mission is to Keep Coloradans Housed by helping to prevent mass evictions and homelessness…