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Cleveland home rental cost increases as residents continue to struggle making payments

Posted at 7:26 AM, Jan 18, 2022

CLEVELAND — The housing market remains in high demand and it's forcing the cost of rent to keep going up.

A report by Freddie Mac, the housing finance group chartered by Congress, shows between 2019 and October 2021, rent prices increased by 10% in the Cleveland area.

The report notes multi-family home properties will continue to grow this year up to $500 billion while the rent to live in one is expected to increase by about 4%. The thing is, about half of all renters spend at least 30 percent of their paychecks towards rent, according to a RealPage study. Though the study notes incomes inCleveland have increased, the challenge remains for many residents.

“People are still having trouble in all the ways they did before the pandemic, as well as exacerbated because again, there might be layoffs, there might be folks not being able to work because they're sick or you know they’re afraid that they might get sick. So, all of those challenges are still coming up,” said Sabah Bhat, a senior attorney with Right to Counsel under the Legal Aid of Society Cleveland.

Under the Right to Counsel, Bhat represents those struggling legally with eviction cases, which majority of them tend to focus on affordable housing, despite taking on clients of all economic backgrounds as a result of the pandemic and other factors.

“There's a lot of evictions that, you know, go forward throughout the year,” she said.

Bhat says many clients are left to choose between rent or food and maybe even a car note or their kid's daycare. Nonetheless, they're often threatened with eviction because of a non-payment.

“It's great right now that there are a lot of resources available, but it's going to be tough once those are no longer available,” Bhat explained. “Right now, because of the pandemic, because of those extra factors, it is really helping a lot of people a lot.”

For more information on Right to Counsel, click here or call 216-687-1900. To access Legal Aide intake 24/7, click here. You can also call 888-817-3777 during business hours.