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Northeast Ohio affordable housing crisis, local agencies search for solutions

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 23:11:00-04

CLEVELAND — Local experts believe the lack of affordable housing is a key reason why there are a growing number of homeless children attending Cleveland Schools.

Cleveland's Project ACT reported nearly 3,000 homeless children in the school district, but said it could be many more because not all homeless families are registered.

Cleveland's CHN Housing Partners are trying to help slow down the growing number of homeless families by providing rental assistance and homes through its lease-purchase program.

Kate Carden, CHN Housing Partners Assistant Director of Community Resources, said more than 1,000 affordable homes have been created for struggling families over the past several years.

"We're working with families who are at risk of an eviction, or an immediate foreclosure," Carden said. "We're working with Cleveland families to provide rental assistance. Our lease-purchase program is a 15-year tenancy program, where at the end of the 15 years, our residents have potential eligibility to purchase that home."

But Carden and other local housing experts agree if more funding isn't found soon, there will be no way to break the growing cycle of homeless mothers, fathers and children.

Carden also believes higher paying jobs must somehow be found to meet the growing cost for rent and housing.

"We also need funding for things like workforce programs, to really help folks get into a livable and sustain wage, so they are able to afford housing," Carden said.