When we talk about housing in these terms, we talk about housing as if it is an issue devoid of moral content. Rents will keep rising. Tenants who can’t pay will be evicted. So it goes. This is not the only way to talk about housing. Housing is not just a good, exchanged in transactions between producer and consumer. Housing is something more: It is a basic need of every human being.
Landlords dealing with delinquent renters have a clear remedy: the eviction process, designed to return rental properties to landlords as quickly as possible. Tenants have no equivalent remedy or process.
Hawaii Public Radio - "Hawaii has the highest rate of rentership in the nation, with 43% of residents renting the property in which they live. Last year around 1,700 of those renters were evicted by their landlord."
Honolulu Civil Beat - "There is no organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of tenants, and a new study finds they lose nearly every eviction case."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser - "Those efforts are driven by studies showing that cities can save money associated with evictions and homelessness by putting more funds into helping tenants."
Honolulu Star-Advertiser - "When evictions are granted, neither side comes out ahead."
During three separate study periods spanning eight years, Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ) examined evictions in Hawai‘i. The results of the study in all three periods confirm the existence of a stark disparity in legal representation between landlords and tenants, and a resulting disparity in case outcomes.