Cleveland Housing Court Sees Fewer-Than-Expected Eviction Filings

There were far fewer new eviction filings in Cleveland Housing Court last week than the court expected, despite a months-long moratorium on evictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Housing Court Judge W. Moná Scott credits the city’s rental assistance program, which will disperse $11.3 million in federal money to Cleveland residents. The court has worked to get the word out about that assistance, she said. 

“Not only is it talked about to the renters, but you also want to have that discussion with landlords. Some landlords are content with waiting for money from the city when it becomes available. Cleveland starts accepting rental assistance applications next month,” said Scott.

Abigail Staudt, a managing attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, said her office saw a 25 percent increase over the same time last year in calls from people with housing problems the week before the court reopened.

It will be some time before new filings end up in the courtroom. The Housing Court spent its first week since re-opening beginning to address a 500-case backlog that built up because of the pandemic shutdown.

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