Government and Nonprofits Working to Prevent Wave of Evictions in Cleveland
As Cleveland Municipal Court’s Housing Court reopened last Monday, June 15, after a three-month moratorium on evictions, a tidal wave of evictions could come.
Abigail Staudt, managing attorney with the housing group for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, says that before COVID-19, an average of 35 eviction cases were filed each day in housing court, but she says she expects to see that number increase now.
“We know some landlords that are proactively working with their tenants but there are others who [were] probably waiting for the courts to open,” says Staudt.
Legal Aid Society’s Staudt says her agency is significantly increasing its staffing—an initiative that started before the pandemic in preparation for Cleveland’s new right to counsel law.
Landlord-tenant mediation is another service that could stem the tide of evictions, Staudt says. Danielle Cosgrove, director of the Cleveland Mediation Center, says they plan to provide landlord-tenant mediation services to more than 500 additional clients, thanks to funding through the Restart CLE program.