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NLIHC Releases Brief Detailing State-Level Tenant Protections Enacted Since Pandemic

New brief provides in-depth tenant protection summaries, challenges, and long-term recommendations

Washington, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released today a brief, “The State of Statewide Protections,” highlighting the efforts of state-level lawmakers to pass tenant protections that keep renters stably housed and prevent unjust discrimination and harassment.

The brief, authored by NLIHC’s End Rental Arrears to Stop Evictions (ERASE) team, provides in-depth summaries of five common tenant protections, details the challenges faced by lawmakers enacting protections, and offers recommendations for developing and implementing laws aiming for long-term renter protections.

“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated clearly the power of tenant protections to stave off evictions and shore up housing stability for millions of low-income renters,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Rather than let these pandemic-era protections expire, policymakers must act now to strengthen existing measures and create new protections that will help those renters most at risk of eviction and, in the worst cases, homelessness remain housed during future crises. The new brief provides an essential blueprint for those working to formulate, implement, enforce, and improve tenant protections at the state, local, and federal levels.”

Tenant protections are laws and policies meant to ensure that renter households are able to maintain safe, affordable, and accessible housing and live free from the threat of eviction. Many types of protection exist, as detailed in NLIHC’s State and Local Tenant Protections Database, but the brief focuses on five protections that aim to divert evictions: (1) the civil right to counsel; (2) measures prohibiting source-of-income discrimination; (3) eviction record sealing and expungement legislation; (4) rent stabilization and anti-rent gouging legislation; and (5) “just cause” eviction laws.

Since the pandemic began, state governments have shown a growing interest in instituting or enacting such eviction diversion measures, especially given the lack of federal laws protecting renters.

The brief makes recommendations for policymakers and others who are seeking to implement renter protections. Recommendations include urging lawmakers to continue passing tenant protections addressing all stages of the eviction process and urges them to continually evaluate the efficacy of existing protections to ensure adequate funding and enforcement. The brief also recommends that policymakers engage tenants throughout the process of formulating and instituting protections and that state governments refrain from passing preemption laws that prevent localities from enacting legislation to protect renters in their own communities.

Read the brief at:

For more information about the more than 400 tenant protections that have been enacted by states and localities, please visit NLIHC’s State and Local Tenant Protections Database at:

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