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Empowering Volunteers to Increase Transparency into Eviction Court Proceedings

Texas Housers of Houston, Pro Bono
The Houston Eviction Solidarity Network tool scrapes upcoming eviction dockets that volunteers can sign up to observe and submit notes on.
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Problem

With economic challenges brought on by COVID-19, eviction filings have continued despite provisions to stem them. Texas Housers of Houston needed a system that could track upcoming eviction dockets as volunteer slots for observers to sign up for and track notes in. Through eviction court observation, Texas Housers seeks to find patterns and anomalies in the hearings.

Solution

Through interviews for needs and use cases, Moksha Data built houstonevictionsolidarity.org as a timely solution that:

  • Updates a list of upcoming eviction dockets in need of observation
  • Allows volunteers to sign up for dockets and receive email reminders with more information
  • Collects notes from volunteers as they observe

Impact

A team of volunteers has observed more than 300 cases, finding patterns in how courts are hearing eviction cases. Through this process, Texas Housers can inform judges and tenants about available assistance programs.  This data helps Texas Housers investigate ways to increase tenant attendance and legal assistance to decrease evictions.