Eviction Resolution Program

The Covid pandemic has completely changed many things, not the least of which are people’s jobs, ability to pay their bills, and a general sense of safety and home. Renters want to avoid the threat of homelessness. Housing providers want to avoid the threat of bankruptcy. In late 2020, courts in Washington State launched the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) to provide a multi-pronged approach to address and mitigate this potential conflict. This program is founded on three pillars: dispute resolution, legal aid, and rental assistance. 

General Information​

With nearly 1 million people out of work in Washington State due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many tenants are unable to pay rent, and landlords are not receiving payments. In anticipation of a wave of eviction cases overwhelming the Washington State Courts, the Eviction Resolution Program (ERP) was established in September 2020 and is currently a pilot program in six counties; King, Pierce, Snohomish, Thurston, Clark, and Spokane counties. 

About the Program

The ERP brings tenants and landlords together with a professionally trained impartial mediator before an eviction lawsuit is filed. ERP is free to the tenant and landlord.

The Process

  • An impartial Early Resolution Specialist (ERS) from a Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) facilitates the ERP process.

  • The Early Resolution Specialist (ERS) will connect tenants or landlords to any available rental assistance.

  • If the ERP is successful, then all parties will receive a written copy of their settlement agreement.

  • If the ERP is not successful, then the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit. 

  • Both the tenant and the landlord may ask for a lawyer's defense help in an eviction lawsuit. There are free Eviction Defense Clinics and Housing Justice Projects in each of the participating counties.


Who Participates in the ERP?

  • Landlords must give tenants the option to participate in ERP before the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in court.

  • Tenants may choose whether or not they want to participate in the program.

  • If a tenant chooses to participate, the landlord must participate.

  • Both the tenant and landlord have the right to be represented by a lawyer. Legal counsel may be available for qualifying clients.

Pilot Counties:

There are no charges for ERP services in participating counties.

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Why DRC mediation?

DRCs reduce the burdens of the courts, saving taxpayers money, and increasing access to justice for traditionally underserved populations. In 2019 DRCs mediated 5,070 cases, successfully settling 64% of them. 90% of clients reported mediation improved their situation.

Annually DRCs appropriate over $2 million worth of volunteer hours, directly serve over 55,000 people, indirectly serve 200,000 people whose lives are positively affected by mediation and other services and reach out to over 7 million Washington residents.

© Resolution Washington | The member association for Dispute Resolution Centers (DRCs) in Washington State