The Cost of Eviction Calculator developed by the Innovation for Justice program at University of Arizona Law sheds light on the aggregate community costs of eviction and promotes systemic shifts toward eviction prevention.

The Calculator measures the eviction-related costs of providing:

  • emergency shelter
  • inpatient and emergency medical services
  • child welfare
  • juvenile delinquency services

It allows users to input local data, borrow from national figures, or refer to localized data from other jurisdictions. It then calculates the downstream community costs of eviction and provides a detailed report breaking down each major cost. The report also suggests eviction-prevention policies and illustrates how one of these policies can help a community save resources downstream. This report can be leveraged by organizations and individuals to bring attention to their community’s spending and re-shape policy discussions aimed at eviction reduction. 

Evictions occur in unnerving numbers each year and have risen to crisis levels. The eviction crisis has grave consequences for community health, economic development, and social well-being. But eviction costs are often situated in socioeconomic silos—this obscures what communities are spending as a result of the crisis. These hidden costs need to be brought to decision makers’ attention so they can pursue informed, effective responses. And with the imminent lift of COVID-initiated eviction stays, engaging upstream intervention before evictions happen has new and urgent relevance.

About the Eviction Calculator

The Calculator is built in Neota Logic, and draws from Neil Steinkamp’s work analyzing the costs and benefits of providing a right to counsel in eviction proceedings. It was publicly released on April 16, 2020, and earned a spot as one of six finalists in the Georgetown IronTech Lawyer Invitational, an international access to justice technology competition. 

The Calculator has been endorsed by the City of Tucson Office of Innovation, Step Up to Justice Pro Bono Law Center, Southwest Fair Housing, and United Way.

The Calculator has been featured by the New York Times, CBS News, the Associated Press, Shelterforce Magazine, Arizona Public Media (July 2020December 2020), the Arizona Star, the Arizona Republic, KJZZ, and Buffalo News.

It has been used to support advocacy efforts by the University of Arizona’s Southern Institute for Research on Women (SIROW), the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, and FlagStats.

Preventing Eviction During COVID-19

Thanks to the generous support of Family Housing Resources (FHR), and the FHR Cares Community Investment Fund, the Cost of Eviction Calculator has been adapted to estimate the community cost of COVID-19 eviction based on expert predictions for the number of renters at risk of eviction. 

Other COVID-19 eviction-related advocacy

Other i4J eviction-related resources