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$18.1 million pledged by Cuyahoga County, City of Cleveland to keep renters in their homes

31 percent of renters did not pay rent in April, group says
Posted at 9:15 AM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 18:49:08-04

CLEVELAND — $18.1 million dollars are now available to Cuyahoga County and Cleveland residents who need help paying their rent because of the coronavirus.

Applications can be completed online at www.neorenthelp.org.

Applicants will need:

  • Verification of COVID-19 related hardship (loss of income, illness or increased expenses)
  • Photo identification for all adults in the home
  • Social Security cards for all household members
  • Proof of income (tax returns, paystubs or fixed income benefit award letter)
  • Lease agreement
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Copies of utility bills

If they can’t complete the application online, the application can be printed out and delivered with the necessary documentation to the rental assistance drop box at CHN’s office located on the first floor of 2999 Payne Avenue (Room 134) or emailed to info@neorenthelp.org.

If you have any questions, you can call 833-377-RENT (7368).

‘Flood’ of evictions likely as moratoriums end; protection for homeowners
Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland are teaming up with CHN Housing Partners and EDEN Inc. to stop what could be a flood of evictions because of COVID-related rent issues.

The program is being run through CHN Housing Partners and EDEN Inc. to help the growing number of people who are experiencing housing problems because of the coronavirus.

The City of Cleveland is contributing $11.3 million to the project and Cuyahoga County Executive Budish’s administration allocated $6.8 million.

Cuyahoga County residents who already gave their information to United Way's 2-1-1 Helplink will be contacted to complete their applications.

See News 5's previous coverage of United Way's 2-1-1 Helplink here.

“US Census Bureau did a survey showing that over 21% of Ohio residents are currently unable to make their monthly housing payment,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “That's 21%. That's 1 in 5 who can't make their rent payments.”

Cuyahoga County
Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland is redirecting federal money to help pay landlords directly, allowing renters to stay in their homes and allowing landlords to pay down their mortgages too.

Amber Busch was one of those people.

She had a steady job that allowed her to pay all her bills without issue until the coronavirus hit. She was laid off and applied for unemployment right away.

“I did that on March 20,” said Busch. “I did not receive my first unemployment payment until April 21st.”

Busch says even a partial final paycheck from her employer couldn’t offset the hardship of going so long without reliable income.

“Just being a mom, I have a car note, I have other bills,” said Busch.

For Rent
Census data shows that one in five Ohioans are struggling to pay their rent because of the coronavirus.

That’s why Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland are coming together with $18.1 million to help renters like Busch. Households that make up to 120% of the average median income (or 90,000 a year for a family of four) qualify for assistance.

The money goes directly to the landlord and is available for up to three months.

Renters can start applying July 1 with the first payments expected to go out to in the middle of the month.

Busch eventually got help through a different CHN Housing Partners rental assistance program. That help held her over until unemployment benefits started arriving every week.

This story is part of The Rebound: Northeast Ohio, News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:

Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.

Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.

Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.

Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.