DCA Launches Comprehensive Eviction Defense and Diversion Program in All Court Vicinages in New Jersey


The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced a Comprehensive Court Eviction Defense and Diversion (CCED) program in all court vicinages in New Jersey. Under the program, low-income households at risk of eviction can access legal services and experienced caseworkers, known as resource navigators, for a wrap-around defense against housing displacement. On the announcement, Network President and Chief Executive Officer Staci Berger issued the following statement:

“The Network wholeheartedly applauds this expansion and DCA’s work to level the playing field and support people facing eviction and housing insecurity. This is a tremendous step towards housing justice for New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents. Too many residents are at the mercy of unscrupulous landlords profiting from unconscionable rent increases and COVID’s lingering effect on our families.

“Thousands of vulnerable renters facing eviction appear in court with no legal representation. Meanwhile, their landlords are almost always represented by lawyers in court. This creates an unfair power imbalance. Everyone deserves a fighting chance to remain in their homes — and this is especially important for Black and Brown tenants, who are disproportionately impacted by evictions and are more likely to lack the resources to defend themselves in court.  We are thrilled that Gov. Murphy, Lt. Governor Oliver, Asst. Commissioner Winter and the entire Administration is investing in housing stability and equity, and helping to solve NJ’s housing crisis with this expansion.”

According to DCA’s announcement, as CEDD launches, the Department will share a roster of providers by court vicinage along with materials about the program. DCA estimates being able to serve 15,000 households facing or threatened with eviction. For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca.

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 275 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.