Eviction Diversion Program
Court Administrator, Magistrate Court of Cobb County, Georgia
- Number of judges at court: 18
What is the Eviction Diversion Program?
The first of its kind in the state, this problem-solving, eviction prevention program came about when federal funding for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) ended this year. Following its nationally recognized, award-winning successes with implementing and administering ERA, magistrate court saw a continuing need to empower families struggling with rent payments and heading toward first-time eviction.
Who is eligible?
Any tenant living in the county under a current rental agreement and facing legitimate financial hardship to pay the full rental amount may apply. To participate in the program, tenants must complete financial literacy training and job skills training, if needed. Additional services such as legal assistance, substance abuse treatment, and mental health treatment will also be available if applicable.
How is the program administered?
Through magistrate court’s partnership with local nonprofit agencies, property owners and their tenants enter into agreements that allow the tenant to pay a reduced portion of the rent. The Eviction Diversion Program provides the monthly balance due to the landlord so that the full rental amount is paid. The program aims to ensure landlords receive timely rental payments while teaching tenants how to get out of the monthly crisis mode, address underlying causes, and become self-sufficient.
Local funding has been set aside to build out the program. A Judicial Program Coordinator oversees the program, ensuring landlords receive rental payments. Case managers assess applicants and, if approved, refer them to stabilizing wraparound services for long-term success.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Carlene Redmond is court program administrator, Juvenile Court Unit, Restorative Programs Division, Cobb County, Georgia.