Eviction Prevention Program

We work with our community to prevent evictions. When residents lose their homes, no one wins. Evictions often result in losses for both owners and renters. This 61st District Court program changes that. We're turning a lose-lose situation into a win-win.

The program’s three main goals

  1. Reduce the number of evictions

  2. Prevent the cascading negative effects of eviction

  3. Improve housing stability

Here's how it works

  • A dedicated Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) caseworker helps eligible tenants access State Emergency Relief funds and other funds to pay back rent

  • For eligible tenants, DHHS pays landlords the back rent their tenants owe

  • Tenants stay in their homes and their credit rating isn’t affected


Evictions influence one of the hottest issues in Grand Rapids: affordable housing. Preventing evictions keeps individuals and families in affordable homes. Preventing evictions costs less than providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, or re-housing services.

Our program formed in response to our community's recommendations. The Great Housing Strategies group recommended creating a court eviction diversion pilot program. This grant-funded program allows us to do that.

Interested in other steps we're taking to make housing affordable? Check out the Housing Now program.

In 2017, the City received $300 thousand in grants to prevent evictions.

  • $150 thousand from The Steelcase Foundation
  • $150 thousand from The Grand Rapids Community Foundation

The grant money funds our three-year pilot program. When this program ends, we'll apply the lessons learned and make program better. We're hiring staff to provide pre-court and on-site help. Without this support, tenants would have a hard time getting State Emergency Relief funds. This is important because emergency situations are a leading cause of evictions.

Beyond grant funds, we rely on services from other community organizations. Without these partners, we wouldn't be able to meet our goals:

  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • The Salvation Army