Ohio Housing Advocates Warn of Impending COVID-19 Related Eviction Crisis

Housing advocates in Ohio warn that thousands of Ohioans who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic could end up homeless because they won’t be able to make their rent payments in upcoming months. 

Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio Executive Director Bill Faith said, “the majority of the 1.3 million Ohioans who have filed for unemployment since the pandemic started are renters, many of whom pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing.” 

Although some unemployed renters will get their jobs back as the economy reopens, housing advocates note that Ohio courts that process evictions are also reopening. 

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland managing attorney Abigail Staudt said that in Cuyahoga County, there’s a backlog of at least 1,000 eviction cases that were on hold before courts were closed because of the pandemic. She can’t predict how many more will be filed later this month when new cases can be initiated.

The housing advocates are urging passage of legislation authored by Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown that would authorize $100 billion for emergency rental assistance during the pandemic.

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