For Immediate Release

June 17, 2020

With Ohio facing a spike in evictions in coming months, a coalition of housing advocates, businesses, healthcare, and faith-based organizations asked Gov. Mike DeWine today to invest $100 million in federal coronavirus relief funds for emergency rental assistance.

182 groups representing Ohio businesses, health and human services organizations signed the letter urging Gov. DeWine to take immediate action to prevent a spike in evictions and homelessness among an estimated 730,000 renter households who experienced job loss in recent months.

The coalition, including landlords, housing advocates, hospitals, banks, religious organizations, and local government officials, demonstrates a broad consensus for government action to ensure that workers who have been laid as a result of Ohio’s stay-at-home order must not lose their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Nearly 1.3 million Ohioans have filed jobless claims in the past 11 weeks. Layoffs are disproportionately impacting lower income workers who rent their homes. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 1.25 million Ohio renters have experienced income loss, including layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs. Local courts have resumed eviction hearings, and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (additional $600 per week) is set to expire next month,” the letter states.

“The facts are clear: without immediate and decisive action, Ohio faces a tsunami of evictions. We must not exacerbate this public health crisis with a flood of Ohioans entering our local homeless shelters.” (Download the full letter here)

The federal CARES Act provided Ohio billions of dollars in coronavirus relief funds that could be used to assist unemployed renters who can’t pay rent. In addition to $100 billion from the coronavirus relief fund, the coalition calls on the DeWine Administration to invest $37 million from Ohio’s remaining supplemental Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CARES Act) on emergency rental assistance.

Emergency rental assistance is critical for stabilizing both Ohio’s tenants and landlords, who rely on rent payments to pay their employees, mortgages, taxes, and property maintenance costs. Expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire next month, leaving tenants unable to pay the rent, putting the entire housing market at risk.

Organizations signing the letter include: the Ohio Bankers League; Ohio REALTORS; Huntington Bank; Cleveland Clinic; Mount Carmel Health System; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Ohio Mayors Alliance; Ohio Credit Union League; Ohio Real Estate Investors Association; First Financial Bank; Ohio Catholic Conference; Ohio Housing Council; Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies; Park National Bank; RiverHills Bank; Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing; Ohio Manufactured Homes Association; Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio; Ohio Domestic Violence Network; Habitat for Humanity of Ohio; National Church Residences; Wallick Communities; and Dominium Apartments.

The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, which organized the joint letter, is also calling on Congress to include a $100 billion emergency rental assistance program in the next coronavirus relief package.