The Landlord Engagement Lab (LEL) aims to help small-to-mid-sized cities prevent evictions and support community members by developing and refining their strategies for engaging with mom-and-pop landlords.   

This program will focus on engaging and serving smaller, local landlords and property owners who manage 20 or fewer residential units. 

Cities participating in this cohort will learn how to:

  • Operationalize racial equity in a landlord engagement strategy
  • Facilitate or strengthen relationships with mom-and-pop landlords
  • Develop policies, programs and resources to support small landlords and prevent evictions 

With the tools and approaches honed through this program, participating cities will be better equipped to foster housing stability for residents while meeting the needs of their small landlord community. Learn more about the Landlord Engagement Lab below and in the program overview.

The year-long Landlord Engagement Lab, brought to you by National League of Cities and Stanford Legal Design Lab, is open to all cities with a population under 300,000 and is made possible with the generous support of The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc

Benefits for participating cities

Benefits for Participating Cities

Cities can expect to receive a range of benefits and support through their involvement in LEL, including:  

  • Interactive virtual programming with subject matter experts through bi-monthly meetings.  
  • Periodic small group workshops or peer discussion groups to collaborate on tactics, strategies and challenges.
  • Up to 10 hours of hands-on assistance for specific projects related to local landlord engagement strategies.  
  • Resources and tools through a shared resource hub and newsletter.  
  • Access to programming and resources from the Eviction Prevention Learning Lab.
Who should apply?

Who Should Apply? 

  • Is your community a small-to-mid-sized city (population of 300,000 or below) looking to increase its engagement with “mom and pop” landlords who own 20 or fewer residential rental units?  
  • Is your city seeking to develop a landlord engagement strategy that responds not only to the immediate needs of your community, but also looks to address the root causes of your local eviction crisis?  
  • Could your city benefit from peer-to-peer exchange and dialogue with subject matter experts about landlord engagement?  
  • Is your city looking to strengthen relationships with “mom and pop” landlords?  
  • Could your city better leverage resources and assets at the local, state and federal levels to ensure sustainable progress is made to prevent evictions?   
  • Is your city open to exploring new ideas and strategies while also sharing its own challenges, approaches and lessons learned?  

If your answers to these questions are “yes,” your city is strongly encouraged to apply for this opportunity! 



Cities selected to join the year-long Landlord Engagement Lab should be prepared to do the following:  

  • Commit to creating an equitable landlord engagement strategy that supports both renters and small landlords.  
  • Be an active participant in bi-monthly virtual programming and online resource-sharing.
  • Create or refine a landlord engagement strategy with a specific focus on engaging mom-and-pop landlords.  
  • Identify at least two (2) city staff members to serve as lead participants for the city’s involvement with an opportunity for the participation of additional colleagues or community partners.  
  • Identify, address and remove racial disparities in your landlord engagement strategy.  
  • Complete an initial onboarding survey, periodic progress reports and a final feedback survey at the conclusion of the program. 
  • Apply lessons from the Landlord Engagement Lab to your local context.  

See the program overview to learn more.

program structure

Program Structure

The Landlord Engagement Lab will consist of lab meetings, workshops and peer discussion groups. While lab programming will be responsive to the specific needs and interests of participating cities, you can expect to address one of these key topics of discussion during each session:

  • Racial Equity
  • Developing a Strategy & Implementation
  • Landlord Incentives
  • Supportive Services
  • Advisory Boards & Commissions
  • Local Policies
  • Communication & Outreach Strategies
  • Authentic Community Engagement
lab meetings

Lab Meetings

Staff representatives of participating cities should plan to actively take part in bi-monthly meetings on Wednesdays from 1–2:15 p.m. ET. These video calls will engage all members of the Lab on topics directly related to landlord engagement and will often feature presentations from cities or outside subject matter experts.

The Landlord Engagement Lab will kickoff with a mandatory orientation on May 4, 2022. Dates for all meetings include:

  • May 4, 2022, mandatory orientation
  • May 11, 2022 
  • July 13, 2022 
  • September 14, 2022 
  • November 9, 2022 
  • January 11, 2023 
  • March 8, 2023 
  • May 10, 2023  
hands-on assistance

Hands-On Assistance

Participating cities will be eligible to request and receive up to 10 hours of hands-on, one-on-one assistance.

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • The review or development of program materials or strategy documents
  • The creation of outreach materials or collateral
  • Data analysis and visualizations
  • Virtual strategy meetings or mapping exercises
  • Presentations to stakeholder groups
how to apply

How To Apply

NLC is currently accepting applications for the Landlord Engagement Lab. The application deadline is 11:59 PM EST on March 25, 2022. 



For more information about application requirements, selection criteria and the application timeline, please see the overview of the program and review the FAQs.

If you have questions about the Landlord Engagement Lab or the application process, please review the FAQs or contact the program lead at  

Apply to participate in the Landlord Engagement Lab by March 25, 2022!  

NLC is currently accepting applications for the Landlord Engagement Lab. The application deadline is 11:59 PM EST on March 25, 2022.