PAINESVILLE, Ohio — As rent prices rise in Northeast Ohio, The Fair Housing Resource Center in Lake County, which helps people find affordable housing, is seeing fewer affordable options for renters.
“Housing providers are able to increase the rents substantially because people are desperate enough and they're paying for it," said Patricia Kidd.
Kidd, who works at the center, says dozens of people will go after a single rental.
Adding to the demand is some tenants can’t afford their rent, which leads to more people needed help.
One way they can get that help is through the county's emergency rental assistance program.
More than $775 million in federal money has been made available to the state and some Ohio cities and counties.
News 5 found tens of millions of dollars still unused. Lake County received almost $7 million.
The program manager for the Fair Housing Resource Center said they did get off to a slow start but it’s moving along as they try to help more people facing housing issues.
“They started up July 1 and they've been busy, we have done. Outreach just recently to over three hundred landlords, we're getting it out to our Job and Family Services Department. It'll become more and more visible," said Kidd.
If a tenant is approved, the landlord has to agree to accept the funds from the program. Lake County does offer help to people who have trouble paying their mortgages as well.
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