LaToya, a single mother, called the Housing Information Line when her landlord served her with an eviction notice just days after he had agreed to accept late payment. She had only three days to vacate the apartment where she had lived with her daughter for six years when she dialed the toll free number.

“I was really at my wit’s end,” she said. “I mean I was bordering on having panic attacks, literally, because I did not know what to do. I called so many different numbers. You all were the first people that gave me any sort of help.”

Attorney Joe Maskovyak, COHHIO’s Affordable and Fair Housing Coordinator, told LaToya she had a solid case and advised her how to defend herself from being wrongly evicted

“Based on the information that was given to me I was able to represent myself in court. He gave me the exact verbiage to use,” she recalled. “As a regular citizen with no knowledge of the law, you feel kind of lost and you feel sort of intimidated by people with attorneys and things like that. So it gave me peace of mind, it really did. It gave me peace of mind to know that I have a legal recourse.”

Before the court hearing, LaToya met her landlord and his attorney in the hall. Armed with the legal information she got from COHHIO’s Housing Information Line, she showed them that eviction would not be easy in her case. LaToya’s landlord capitulated and voluntarily dismissed the case, allowing her family to remain in their home until they were ready to move.

Asked what would have happened if she had not found COHHIO’s Housing Information Line, LaToya said, “I’d be out on the street, I guess.”