LSC estimates $3.3-$4.1B to provide legal representation in all eviction cases


The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) has calculated it would cost between $3.3 and $4.1 billion to provide legal representation to all low-income tenants facing eviction in the U.S.

Representation in eviction cases makes an enormous difference. Tenants on their own typically struggle to raise legal arguments, identify applicable defenses, introduce evidence and navigate procedural obstacles. But nationally, landlords are four times more likely than tenants to be represented in eviction/landlord-tenant cases, and in many jurisdictions these imbalances are far more significant.

Without representation, most tenants will lose their cases and face eviction. Access to representation flips the odds, with a large majority of tenants able to delay or avoid eviction. Tenants with full representation win or favorably settle 96% of their disputes. And the benefits of representation extend beyond case outcomes: represented tenants are more than twice as likely to maintain their housing or secure additional time to find alternative accommodations. They are also more likely to avoid an eviction record.

Research on the costs of providing legal representation in these cases varies depending on the geographic location, methodology used and the time period analyzed. But using available information—including existing studies and interviews with LSC-funded legal services organizations—LSC estimates the national average cost to provide representation in an eviction case is $2,000-$2,500. There are currently 1.6 million low-income tenants in the country at immediate risk of eviction, meaning it would conservatively cost between $3.3 and $4.1 billion to provide legal representation to them all.

LSC is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. It currently provides funding to 131 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. For additional information, visit

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