By Stephen D. Richman

As scientists, medical professionals and politicians debate the direction of the “COVID-19 curve” in Ohio and how “re-opening the economy” may affect physical well-being, there is no debate about how the pandemic has hurt the financial health of Ohioans, and those around us.

With unemployment rates around 20% these days, it is not surprising that a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau showed more than 21% of Ohio residents are currently unable to make their monthly housing payments. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that prior eviction and foreclosure moratoriums have expired (or are expiring soon), so many residents are in real danger of becoming homeless.

To help combat these financial realities and keep people in their homes, Cuyahoga County has stepped up to the plate today, in a big way.

According to Cuyahoga County’s Department of Communications, a resolution awarding $6.8 million for the creation of the Cuyahoga County Rent Relief Fund has been submitted to County Council today by County Executive Armond Budish. This fund (to be administered by the non-profit organization, CHN Housing Partners) will provide rental assistance for up to three months to eligible tenants unable to pay their rent due to the economic fallout from COVID-19. The $6.8 million recommended by County Executive Budish would come from $5 million of the County’s Coronavirus relief funds from the federal government and $1.8 million of their Community Development Block Grant funds (from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Rent Relief).

According to the plan, assistance checks would be made directly to landlords to also provide relief to building owners who are facing economic hardships of their own in terms of late fees and possible foreclosure from their mortgage lenders.

According to the County, CHN Housing Partners will be ready for applications on July 1, but anyone who needs immediate assistance should call 2-1-1.

Hopefully, rental relief will continue to spread state-wide. At the end of May, Franklin County Commissioners approved $2.6 million for housing help during the COVID-19 pandemic, and on June 10, 2020, Hamilton County’s Health Commissioner confirmed that Hamilton County will provide $5 million in rental assistance.

If you have questions or would like to discuss further, please reach out to Steve Richman at sdr@kjk.com or 216.736.7203, or contact any of our Real Estate professionals.

 

Note: Sources- https://cuyahogacounty.us/current-topics/current-topics-detail/cuyahoga-county-news-now/2020/06/12/$6.8-million-rent-relief-program-to-support-those-affected-by-covid-19

https://www.fox19.com/2020/06/10/watch-live-hamilton-co-discuss-openings-testing-locations/

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200526/franklin-county-commissioners-ok-26-million-for-housing-help-during-pandemic

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