CLEVELAND — More help is now available for thousands of people behind on rent here in Cuyahoga County as the county council approved an additional $10 million in federal aid for rental assistance.
“People are at risk of losing their homes and that's crushing for anybody,” said Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive.
The new funding is part of a push to help renters and prevent more evictions from piling up, especially as the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) current eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of the month.
“What we found there was not a single member of the county council - there are 11 of us - who didn't have constituents in need of the services,” Cheryl Stephens, District 10 VP of County Council.
To be eligible for up to 15 months of assistance, you need to be a renter who has had total or partial job loss due to covid or loss of childcare.
You also have to earn 80% or less of the area's median income.
“We primarily focused on families who were renters because that is a significant piece of our population,” Stephens.
So far Cuyahoga County has provided about $30 million in total in rental assistance. The applications and money distribution are managed by the nonprofit CHN Housing Partners.
“Those applications over time have remained consistent. So, we're continuing to see a need—we even saw a little bit of an increase in applications in May,” said Kevin Nowak, Executive Director of CHN Housing Partners.
In addition to the growing need, the cost of rental assistance is spiking as well. Around this time last year, renters needed around $2,000 per household in assistance, which is now up to more than $6,000.
“If people think this is over, they're not paying attention,” Budish explained. “There's still a lot of problems out there. We're still in the midst of a crisis.”
Budish says the county now looking at what’s to come once the CDC’s eviction moratorium expires on June 30.
“If we have to do more, we'll do more. We can't let people get thrown out of their homes,” Budish said.
If you're in need of help with paying your rent, you click here. You can also call 1-833-RENT (7368).