Congress gets back to work in late July to negotiate the next coronavirus relief bill. With mass unemployment and over 500,000 Ohio tenants wondering how they’ll pay next month’s rent, emergency rental assistance must be part of the solution!

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced legislation (S. 3685, H.R. 6820) to provide a $100 billion time-limited emergency rental assistance program in the next coronavirus relief bill, and the U.S. House has already passed similar legislation, but Senate leaders have been reluctant to act. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) could help break the partisan divide.

Please take a few minutes to ask Sen. Portman and your U.S. House member to support emergency rental assistance for unemployed workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sen. Portman, who introduced the Eviction Crisis Act in December, understands the damage eviction causes to people, but so far he has not publicly advocated for emergency rental assistance to help the millions of unemployed Americans facing eviction during the public health crisis.

Below are some suggestions on what to say when you call Sen. Portman and your members of Congress. Feel free to contact COHHIO Advocacy Director Gina Wilt with any questions, and let her know who you called so we can keep track. When these phone calls add up, they really can make all the difference!

  • I’m calling to ask you to please support the inclusion of Emergency Rental Assistance in the next coronavirus relief package.
  • The House passed legislation to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance for  workers – this would go a long way to help the 1.5 million unemployed Ohioans who are wondering how they will pay next month’s rent.
  • Without emergency rental assistance, millions of tenants will face eviction, and landlords won’t be able to pay their mortgage, taxes and employees.
  • Emergency rental assistance is essential for keeping Americans safely housed, and for stabilizing our economy.
  • Please support the Emergency Rental Assistance Act and vote to include it in the next coronavirus relief bill.

Phone calls have the most impact, but our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition have also created an easy email template to urge your Congressional representatives to prioritize emergency rental assistance. All of these contacts add up, so please speak out on behalf of struggling renters!

Social media is also a great way to get the word out. If you tag members of Congress, they’re more likely to see your message. Here are some sample tweets, and please use the hashtag: #RentReliefNow

Covid has decimated our workforce. Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans don’t know how they’ll pay next month’s rent. We need #RentReliefNow to prevent mass evictions and homelessness in the months to come. @SenRobPortman

1 in 5 Ohio tenants couldn’t pay rent in July. Extra unemployment benefits expire soon. @SenRobPortman please support $100B in emergency rental assistance to ensure unemployed renters have a home during the pandemic. #RentReliefNow

No one should lose their home during a global pandemic. @SenRobPortman you can help by supporting $100B in emergency rental assistance in the next coronavirus relief bill. #RentReliefNow

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