Early returns on Ketchum’s first half year or so of tenant mediation programs with Boise-based Neuro Mediation group are promising. In that period, the city managed to salvage eight situations that would have otherwise resulted in loss of housing, according to the city’s Housing Director Carissa Connelly and Neuro Mediation mediator Leigh Barer.
Tenant-landlord mediation is the process of settling civil disputes over living accommodations between renter and property owner. From Sept. 28 to Feb. 3, there were 16 mediation inquiries. Nine went to mediation, and, in all but one, an agreement was reached. The city touted that as an 89% resolution rate. Seven were not mediated because they were referred to another service, declined mediation, or had a lack of contact information.
Each household contained between one and four people. So far, none of the parties who went through mediation have reached a full lease renewal. Three reached stay extensions—one for six months, one for eight days and one for a week. Two parties were able to organize a payment plan to pay off rent owed.
Five of the tenants were working with issues other than rent past due. Barer told a story about one mediation in particular that helped keep a family from having to scramble for temporary accommodations before they were able to move into their new home.
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