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Housing mediation services

Health Factors: Housing & Transit
Decision Makers: Community Development Professionals Community Members
Evidence Rating: Insufficient Evidence
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Housing mediation services facilitate mediation between tenants and landlords to resolve conflict and prevent eviction. Often provided through housing counseling agencies, local consumer agencies, or small claims court advisors, services are available to all renters and landlords, but are most often used by lower income renters.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased housing stability
Reduced homelessness

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether housing mediation services increase housing stability and reduce homelessness. Available evidence suggests that participation in mediation through housing courts may help preserve tenancy (Burt 2007); however, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.


United States

Basic mediation services are available in most states. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides local information for all 50 states about rental assistance, including housing counseling and mediation services (US HUD-Renting).

Many non-profit organizations provide housing mediation services, often along with other housing supports. Some examples include Kentucky’s Housing Mediation organization, Dane County, Wisconsin’s Tenant Resource Center, and California's Project Sentinel, which provides services in English and Spanish (HMS-Mediation, TRCProject Sentinel).


General mediation services are available through the Wisconsin Association of Mediators (WAM).

Implementation Resources

CA DCA-Mediation - California Department of Consumer Affairs (CA DCA). Local mediation programs: An alternative method of resolving complaints without having to go to court. Accessed on July 29, 2016
MSU-Resource guide - Michigan State University (MSU) College of Law. Tenants and landlords resource guide: Information for tenants and landlords about their rights and responsibilities in rental relationships. Accessed on July 29, 2016
NHLP-Help for tenants - National Housing Law Project (NHLP). Help for tenants, homeowners, and homeless people. Accessed on July 29, 2016
SWD-Housing resources - (SWD). Fair housing & social work: Online resources. Accessed on July 27, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Burt 2007* - Burt MR, Pearson C, Montgomery AE. Community-wide strategies for preventing homelessness: Recent evidence. Journal of Primary Prevention. 2007;28(3-4):213-28. Accessed on August 12, 2016

Citations - Implementation

HMS-Mediation - Housing Mediation Services (HMS). Housing Mediation Services provides free, independent dispute resolution. Accessed on July 29, 2016
Project Sentinel* - Project Sentinel. A HUD-approved housing counseling agency: Providing housing solutions and community mediation since 1976. Accessed on July 29, 2016
TRC - Tenant Resource Center (TRC). Accessed on July 29, 2016
US HUD-Renting - US Department of Housing and Urban Development (US HUD). Local renting information. Accessed on February 27, 2017
WAM - Wisconsin Association of Mediators (WAM). Promoting and developing the use and practice of collaborative conflict resolution through mediation. Accessed on July 29, 2016

Page Last Updated

July 27, 2016

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