Blaine County and City of Ketchum tap NeuroMediation Group to launch landlord-tenant mediation program
Housing Mediation Project is a free mediation program that provides landlords and tenants with an avenue to resolve housing-related issues without filing an eviction with the court.
HAILEY and KETCHUM, Idaho, Nov. 23, 2022–NeuroMediation Group LLC, proven international conflict resolution experts, today announced the launch of the Housing Mediation Project serving Blaine County landlords and tenants. The City of Ketchum, in partnership with Blaine County, contracted NeuroMediation Group to develop, market, and administer the program.
“NeuroMediation Group possesses the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to execute a much-needed housing mediation program quickly and efficiently,” said City of Ketchum Housing Strategist Carissa Connelly. “We are experiencing extremely limited alternative housing options, and formal mediation could help stabilize or assist over 90 households and landlords in Blaine County in the first year.”
Through the Housing Mediation Project, NeuroMediation Group will provide free mediation services throughout Blaine County to landlords and tenants, and mediation training to mediators, caseworkers, and stakeholders, as appropriate. On Tues., Nov. 29, NeuroMediation Group is presenting a free training on the components and complexities of landlord-tenant laws in Idaho, led a top Idaho real estate attorney.
On Sept. 6, 2022, Ketchum City Council unanimously passed the mediation program, which aligns with Ketchum’s Housing Action Plan (HAP) goal no. 3 to expand + improve services to create housing stability.
“NeuroMediation Group is honored to partner with Blaine County and The City of Ketchum on this important Housing Mediation Project,” said NeuroMediation Group Founder Carol Barkes, CPM. “Mediating these cases before an eviction filing benefits both landlords and tenants. It removes the risk associated with the ambiguity of court and saves the time and costs of going to court, and parties are more likely to comply with terms they help create.”
Housing issues are on the rise nationally and this trend prevails in Blaine County. Between 2019 and 2020, Blaine County’s population grew by 5 percent compared to the historic 1 percent annual increase, which increased demand and pushed up home prices to rates unaffordable to many community members.
In Blaine County, roughly 63 percent of evictions are granted, and 37 percent are not, meaning a landlord wishing to evict a tenant has spent time and money for an unsuccessful, stressful process. While evictions will always be a part of societal norms, rising rent prices coupled with incomes not growing at the same rate have created an increasingly challenging environment.
Mediation solution and benefits
Mediation is a fair, efficient, and confidential process for resolving disagreements. The purpose of mediation is not to secure a specific outcome. The mediator is a neutral third party, not an advocate for the tenant. Any landlord concessions made in mediation are theirs to make and there is no pressure to perform. During mediation, trained mediators help the parties find a mutually acceptable resolution.
If a payment arrangement is made in mediation, it is paid 93 percent of the time. If a judge orders a cash award, the likelihood of seeing that money drops to 37 percent. This is because, with a judgment, opportunities for repayment plans and timelines are not part of the ruling, and the collection process can be challenging for landlords.
● Pre-court mediation results in a written agreement that can be used as evidence in court in the unlikely event the agreement is not complied with and eviction becomes inevitable.
● Landlords can receive late and no rent payments, save time, remedy property issues, and avoid legal and court fees associated with filing an eviction.
● Tenants can avert an eviction filing on their permanent public record (which can make it extremely difficult to locate new housing), maintain stable housing, and reduce disruption if a move is unavoidable.
Comparable programs in Idaho and nationwide
Canyon County and Ada County, Idaho, have court eviction mediation programs, and the Idaho Supreme Court aims to roll out such programs statewide. There is no clear timeline for the program in Blaine County, which is part of the Fifth District Court. Boulder, Colo., Clark County, Nev., and Philadelphia, Pa. are among jurisdictions nationwide that have eviction mediation programs in place.
For more information about the Housing Mediation Project and to register for the Nov. 29 training, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; call: 208-314-1330; visit: https://www.neuromediationgroup.com
About the City of Ketchum
The City of Ketchum is located in the Wood River Valley in south central Idaho. Founded in 1880 during the mining boom, Ketchum is now regarded as one of the most popular destinations for winter and summer visitors due to its world-class skiing, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, restaurants, art galleries and shopping. In 2018, Ketchum was awarded designation by the International Dark-Sky Association as a Dark Sky Community and is included in the Nation’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, one of only 13 in the world. The City of Ketchum hosts the famous annual Wagon Days Parade, held on Labor Day weekend, and numerous other year-round attractions. Ketchum is home to more than 10,000 full- and part-time residents. For more information about the City of Ketchum, visit www.ketchumidaho.org.
About NeuroMediation Group
NeuroMediation Group is a neuroscience-based conflict resolution firm specializing in cutting-edge, neuroscience-based communication and conflict resolution services. The firm provides these services via both corporate and private mediation, training, consulting, facilitating, and coaching. The NeuroMediation Group was founded by Carol Barkes, CPM, who Fox news named the top neuroscience-based conflict resolution expert in the country. She is a conflict and communication advisor, speaker, and best-selling author who directed the Idaho Fourth District Court for many years and created the Idaho Third District Court’s first eviction court mediation program. She also assists the Nevada Supreme Court with its eviction court program and has mediated thousands of the eviction cases plaguing Clark County, Nev.’s most populated county. When she is not meditating or consulting, Carol is an adjunct professor/lecturer at the U of I Law School, BSU, and CSI and is a sought-after keynote speaker who has spoken at the United Nations.
Leigh Barer, m: 206-755-1090, e: email@example.com