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Independent Evaluation of Right to Counsel Highlights Benefits, Positive Outcomes


Posted February 1, 2022
8:00 am


This week, United Way and Legal Aid delivered an independent evaluation to City of Cleveland leaders highlighting the success of Right to Counsel in eviction case.

In 2021, 93% of cases represented in Cleveland Housing Court by the Right to Counsel effort, that were seeking to avoid eviction or an involuntary move, avoided displacement.

Stout’s evaluation of Cleveland’s Right to Counsel in 2021 resulted in many new and unique insights including, but not limited to how the effort:

  • Prevents Evictions, Achieve Client Goals
  • Identifies and Responds to Poor Housing Conditions
  • Responds to Eviction Crisis that Disproportionately Impacts Black and Female Households
  • Leverages Rental Assistance
  • Creates Fiscal Impacts
  • Promotes Access to Justice: Significant Increase in Eligible Tenants Who Accessed a Lawyer

Read more in this report at www.FreeEvictionHelpResults.org or browse flip books below.

In 2019, Cleveland City Council passed Cleveland’s Right to Counsel ordinance with a recognition that “a lack of legal counsel for low-income tenants with minor children during eviction cases is a violation of a basic human right.”  Through Cleveland Codified Ordinance 375.12, the city became the first in the Midwest and only fourth in the United States to provide such a right.

Launched on July 1, 2020, Right to Counsel Cleveland provides a right to free legal representation pursuant to the ordinance. This right is delivered to eligible households through a partnership between United Way and Legal Aid.

Presentation of Independent Evaluation
to Cleveland City Council:

Key Findings from
2022 Independent Evaluation:

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Executive Summary
2022 Independent Evaluation:

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