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Implementing Right to Counsel in Philadelphia: An Evaluation of the Program’s 2022 Rollout

Topic Housing
Geography Pennsylvania

This brief presents a preliminary evaluation of Philadelphia’s Right to Counsel (RTC) program, which launched in two zip codes (19121 and 19139) in February 2022. RTC provides an attorney, at no cost, to tenants facing eviction who earn up to twice the federal poverty income for their household size.

Support for an RTC program in Philadelphia stemmed from a growing understanding among officials and other stakeholders of the negative consequences of eviction, the large number of city renters facing eviction each year and the overrepresentation of low-income and Black renters among them, the public cost of eviction, and the extraordinary imbalance in representation rates for tenants compared to landlords in eviction matters.

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