Title

Increasing Housing Stability Through State-Funded Community Mediation Delivered by The Massachusetts Housing Mediation Program (HMP): Evaluation Report

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2021

Abstract

This report presents findings and recommendations from a formative evaluation of 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 (CMCs). The program is funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and overseen by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Eviction Diversion Initiative (EDI). The evaluation was conducted by MOPC’s research unit comprised of staff and graduate student researchers, and does not necessarily represent the views of DHCD. As a statutory state office, MOPC has been serving as a neutral forum and state-level resource for over 30 years. Its mission is to establish evidence-based public programs and build capacity within public entities for enhanced conflict resolution and intergovernmental and cross-sector collaboration to save costs for the state and its citizens and enable effective problem-solving and civic engagement on major public initiatives.

This HMP evaluation report is based on a literature review of housing mediation research and evaluations, including summary process and landlord-tenant mediations, and new research conducted through interviews and surveys. In this formative stage, the evaluation seeks a developmental approach to identifying key indicators of success measures from mediation users, practitioners, administrators, and sponsors with a view to answering a set of research questions on the achievement of program goals like the contribution of the mediation program to housing stability as well as mediation party and sponsor satisfaction. Over time, with the potential to expand data collection, the HMP evaluators will also actively seek opportunities to identify the economic impact of housing mediation.

The evaluators would like to acknowledge the efforts of MOPC’s HMP program managers, the 12 Community Mediation Centers (CMCs) and DHCD for participating in the collection of valuable data for this report.

Comments

Published in November 2021 and revised in January 2022.

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