Rental assistance is available in Ohio if you know where to look

Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 17:59:54-04

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's eviction moratorium is back and as the nation presses pause once again on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, landlords want to know who’s going to pay them.

News 5 learned there’s plenty of federal funding available, but local governments are finding it difficult to give that money away.

Northeast Ohio landlord Ayisha Walton owns five rental properties in Cleveland and East Cleveland. She wasn’t looking forward to a new eviction moratorium.

“It really hit me because I was waiting for a letter to find out when I can get these tenants out of my property,” she said.

Walton’s been struggling without rent from her tenants, claiming “a lot of them are just not paying their rent because they’re saying they don’t have to pay rent.”

But the help is there for those who do need it if you know where to look.

The federal government sent Ohio $775,405,764.40 from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Some of it went directly to local governments. Stark County, for example, received $11,063,000, but has only distributed $424,860.20 of those funds.

Summit County received $16,149,837.80 and has only distributed about two thirds of that, $11,040,346.

The state of Ohio got $564,845,626 directly but has only managed to give out $79,000,000.

Community Action Wayne/Medina CEO Melissa Pearce said, “there’s varying degrees of awareness how to find this assistance.”

She runs one of the organizations helping to get money where it’s needed and says getting people to ask for help seems to be the biggest hurdle right now.

“When we first started some people who had never needed assistance before just didn’t even know where to find it," she said.

Pearce says a good starting point is the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies. There you can narrow your search by county and find out what resources are available to you and how to apply.

In the meantime, Walton says she’s making some life changes. She’s having investors look at all five of her rental properties.

“I’m going to sell everything,” she said. “I’m selling out.”

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