Posted August 3, 202112:55 pm
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Time is up. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium put in place during the pandemic to protect renters expired at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
That means hundreds of thousands of renters and their families in Ohio can be evicted if they’re not up to date on back rent.
According to data released by the Census Bureau 213,000 Ohioans are behind on their rent, and 134,000 are facing eviction within the next two months.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing public health crisis created a domino effect, negatively impacting the economy, forcing layoffs and job losses. No paycheck meant no way for many to pay to stay in their homes.
Marcus Roth, the Communications Director for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, said even as evictions move forward now in the courts there is help to make landlords whole, while also keeping a roof over the heads of so many families.
“They can get help,” he said. “There’s federal emergency rental assistance available, and it can actually cover up to 12 months of past-due rent and three months going forward.”
Applying for federal aid can save everyone from the impact of eviction, especially because even an eviction filing can remain on a person’s record and make it difficult to find a landlord willing to rent to you. This all comes at a time when rent prices nationally have increased to 7.5%.
“We’re asking landlords and tenants both to really exercise some patience though – because it does take some time to process those applications,” said Roth. “It’s a real shame that somebody is getting evicted when they could get all the arrears paid off and get stabilized and stay in their homes and be safe during this pandemic.”
The best advice, according to Roth, if you’re facing eviction is to apply for federal emergency rental assistance and/or seek help in Cuyahoga County through Legal Aid if you need legal assistance.
“I would not recommend people just leave,” said Roth. “They do have rights and they do have assistance.”
At-risk tenants in Cuyahoga County can apply for Emergency Rental Assistance from CHN Housing Partners’ online application: https://chnhousingpartners.org/rentalassistance/.
Northeast Ohio tenants outside Cuyahoga should contact their local community action agency. Here’s a directory: https://oacaa.org/agency-directory/.
Here’s legal information for tenants facing eviction: https://freeevictionhelp.org/.