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Cleveland Tenants Organization closes, board cites lack of financial support

Posted at 11:53 AM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 18:11:35-05

An organization that has helped thousands of Clevelanders stay in their homes has closed.

The Cleveland Tenants Organization suspended operations after more than 40 years, the board announced Monday. 

In social media posts, the board said a lack of financial support made operations unsustainable.

"Over the past decade, many of our board members have watched financial support for CTO slowly decline to the point where the organization became no longer sustainable, leaving us no choice but to lay off our remaining staff," the statement said, in part. 

The agency helped people facing eviction by "resolving disputes between tenants and landlords, advocating for the needs of low to moderate income tenants, informing citizens of their rights and responsibilities in rental housing, and empowering tenants individually and collectively to represent themselves and their interests." 

Legal Aid Cleveland will take over the hotline. The number to call for help is 216-861-5955. Legal Aid will also maintain COT's website so you can still access all the resources.

Legal Aid representatives say housing insecurity is a big problem in Cleveland, and access to good information that can empower tenants about their rights, and safe and affordable housing, has never been more important.