Eviction prevention in the community

We were hired by the City of Toronto to evaluate the Eviction Prevention in the Community (EPIC) pilot program. EPIC provides wrap-around eviction prevention services to help tenants facing imminent risk of eviction stabilize their housing.

Client

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA), City of Toronto

Roles

Literature review
Logic model review
Key informant interviews
Focus groups
Surveys
Quantitative analysis

Deliverables

A technical report
Executive Summary report
One-Page report
Infographic

About the Project

EPIC uses a blended model of direct and contracted community agency service delivery. The EPIC team lead assigns clients to the community agencies based upon geography and the current caseload capacity at each agency. All of the agencies employ at least two EPIC workers who provide rapid short-term case management. As EPIC was a pilot project, SSHA wanted to review the delivery and impact of the program.

The main evaluation questions were:

  1. What is the effectiveness of the intervention in preventing evictions and improving housing outcomes for clients?
  2. What are the contributing factors to evictions?
  3. What is the client profile of households at imminent risk of eviction?
  4. What are the service gaps not easily addressed through the pilot model?

What We Did

This evaluation included eight main components:

  1. The refinement of a program logic model
  2. The development of a program fidelity tool
  3. Key informant interviews and a focus group with managers and staff of the EPIC program
  4. Qualitative interviews with participants currently enrolled in the program
  5. Surveys with participants who have exited the program
  6. Surveys and qualitative interviews with landlords who have participated in the program
  7. Surveys with referral sources of the program
  8. Quantitative analyses conducted on the administrative data of the program

We utilized a mixed-methods framework to address each of the evaluation questions. This method was selected as it incorporates both qualitative and quantitative data. We examined trends in the administrative data through the quantitative analysis and gained a deeper understanding of the program through the qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, program staff, landlords, and participants of the program.

Results

Through financial and case management supports, advocacy, and system navigation, EPIC staff were able to prevent the eviction of the vast majority of their clients and keep their housing. The evaluation found that 90% were able to avoid an eviction and have their housing stabilized. These findings are important as the research and/or evaluation on eviction prevention programs is limited within Canada.

Read the full evaluation report here

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