Chester County’s Eviction Prevention Court, Run by West Chester-Based Friends Association, Set to Expand

Ken Knickerbocker
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Chester County’s Eviction Prevention Court (EPC), a pilot program that has helped a number of people avoid eviction in Downingtown, has now expanded to Coatesville and the surrounding area.

Chester County’s Eviction Prevention Court (EPC), a pilot program that has helped a number of people avoid eviction in Downingtown, has now expanded to Coatesville and the surrounding area, writes Ximena Conde for WHYY.

EPC is run by Friends Association. Once the West Chester-based nonprofit receives notifications that an eviction notice has been filed against a person, the program contacts them and connects them with a lawyer, who examines their lease and explains their options. The program also helps by providing funds to pay off some of the bills and connecting families with social services.

EPC has been operating through grants and donations and, more recently, a $100,000 injection from the federal CARES Act. Thus far, it has helped 31 families that were facing eviction.

According to Friends Association Executive Director Jennifer Lopez, landlords have mostly been open to the process and have sometimes even reached out for help on their tenants’ behalf.

“This isn’t an adversarial approach,” said Lopez. “It’s really impacting the entire community because the landlords are part of our community for the most part as well.”

Read more about Chester County’s Eviction Prevention Court at WHYY here.

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