Preventing Eviction, One Family at a Time

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, thousands of Montanans suddenly found themselves in an impossible situation: how to pay their rent in the face of lost wages from illness and closed worksites. These disruptions have continued, while housing and rent costs have skyrocketed, leaving Montanans vulnerable to eviction and homelessness.

The Montana Eviction Intervention Project helps counter this growing housing and eviction crisis. MLSA partnered with the Montana Department of Commerce to help Montanans secure rental assistance, negotiate with their landlords, and, ultimately, avoid eviction and homelessness. Through MEIP, MLSA contracts with private attorneys to provide free legal representation to tenants facing eviction throughout the state.

MLSA has helped more than 1,113 tenants facing eviction since MEIP began in October 2020. This includes clients like Brittany and Crucita in the above video, who were both terrified of being evicted. MEIP attorneys helped negotiate agreements with their landlords that allowed them to avoid eviction and to secure new housing. Most importantly, they avoided becoming unhomed. As Brittany later said, “Going through an eviction alone is pretty stressful. Having somebody there to advocate for you makes a world of a difference.”