Request for Foreclosure Mediation from Philadelphia Task Force
The city of Philadelphia is putting a plan in place to help homeowners at risk for being evicted from their apartments or from having their homes foreclosed on.
Those in the know are hoping mediation will help lower the city’s foreclosure and eviction rates.
Philadelphia has a high eviction rate, in part because so many people in the city who need subsidized housing are unable to get it. Only about a third of those who qualify have been moved into a home.
The goal of the program is to reduce the number of people being evicted to no more than 24,000 per year. According to Mitch Little, executive director of the city’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, the group calling for mediation, “We understand that a lot of tenants and landlords might not be clear on the process, their rights, and responsibilities — and landlords and tenants are often unaware of the resources available to help them. ”
In addition to the general goal of reducing evictions and foreclosures, the task force is also hoping to create a single portal for services related to eviction assistance, set up alternative opportunities for resolution before the eviction process begins, and develop training programs for landlords and tenants.
The group also wants to reach out to tenants facing eviction and take a proactive approach to providing them with access to information and services. They also want to support “mom and pop” landlords with loans for money to help with property upkeep and increase the legal representation available for low-income tenants.