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The Massachusetts Housing Mediation Program (HMP), administered by the MA Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston in partnership with 12 community mediation centers, utilized mediation of housing disputes as a homelessness prevention and housing stability tool to help mitigate the costs and negative economic impacts from evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report presents findings and recommendations from a formative evaluation of the program. MOPC’s research found that for landlords and tenants impacted by the pandemic and facing mounting debt and the threat of eviction and housing instability, the Housing Mediation Program was a critical intervention that had a positive impact both in terms of preserving tenancy/increasing housing stability and mitigating the negative psychological, social, and financial impacts associated with facing eviction and homelessness. This was demonstrated through mixed methods research, including case studies.



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