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Apartment and housing rental shortage continues as eviction moratorium looms

CDC Eviction moratorium set to expire July 31
Posted at 4:02 PM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 19:55:26-04

AKRON, Ohio — On July 31, the eviction moratorium, which has been in place since March 2020 after receiving extension after extension, is set to expire.

The CDC's website highlights that "this is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium."

Data from the National Equity Atlas, a data and policy tool maintained by the University of Southern California Equity Research Institute and the research firm PolicyLink, highlights how nearly 200,000 households in Ohio are behind on rent.

Vanessa Beane serves as the enforcement director at Fair Housing Contact Service, a nonprofit civil rights organization that advocates a range of issues including fair housing laws and tenant-landlord rights.

Beane told News 5 the upcoming deadline continues to make an impact on those they’re helping serve.

“Each of the cases are a little more intense and it feels like there’s more crisis going with the folks we speak with,” she said. “When they’re faced with eviction and they are faced with losing their homes, it’s going to be traumatic for the community at large. It’s tough. There’s a lot of people who are hurting out there right now. And it’s only getting harder.”

Issues in the rental industry extend beyond just the ability to pay monthly bills. Several landlords and property managers told News 5 they're seeing a shortage in available units, similar to what's happening with housing inventory.

"Like nothing I’ve ever seen," Ellet Park Gardens property manager Gina Steele said. "Everything is in demand. People just aren’t moving. There’s no options and if there are, they’re expensive."

At Ellet Park Gardens, Steele told News 5 she's fielding about 80 calls and 50 emails a day from people inquiring about their 83-unit complex, which doesn't have an opening until October.

In many cases, Steele said apartments are being signed by tenants sight-unseen.

"People will just pay any price without seeing the apartment," she said. recently unveiled data suggesting the median price of rent in the U.S. is up more than 7% in the last two years, with the average rent now sitting at more than $1,500/month.

For those looking for rental assistance, counties such as Cuyahoga and Lake County are using millions of dollars in funding to help renters. In addition, folks are encouraged to utilize the United Way's 211 helpline or reaching out to your local legal aid society.