If you have been laid off or lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic and recession, you might be able to find help paying the rent depending on your circumstances and where you live.

On Oct. 26, the State of Ohio created the Home Relief Grant program. Funded with $55 million from the state’s federal coronavirus relief fund, the program may offer assistance to Ohioans who are behind on their rent, mortgage, and/or water bills.

Update 1: The Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) recently allocated an additional $55.8 million from the state’s federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus relief funding for the Home Relief Grant Program to provide assistance into early 2021.

Update 2: Congress approved $25 billion for emergency rental assistance in the new economic stimulus package. We anticipate these funds will be distributed to local agencies in Ohio by late February-early March.

ODSA will direct funding to local Community Action Agencies to distribute to tenants and homeowners through an application process. Assistance can be applied to outstanding rent, mortgage, water, and/or sewer bills back to Apr. 1 and until the program ends on Dec. 30, 2020. Eligibility is limited to residents at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Ohioans seeking assistance should contact their local Community Action Agency. For more information and a listing of local Community Action Agencies visit ODSA’s Home Relief Grant web page: https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/home-relief-grant.html

Download a fact sheet about ODSA’s Home Relief Grant program here: https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/pdf/10232020-home-relief-grant.pdf

In addition, the following list includes local rental assistance programs that might be able to assist tenants who are behind on rent.

If you cannot find help locally, you should contact your state legislators and members of Congress (Sen. Rob Portman; find your Representative) tell them:

  • I am facing eviction in the middle of a pandemic and there is no help available where I live.
  • The CDC delayed evictions to fight the spread of coronavirus, but I still owe rent each month and might get evicted after the rule expires on Dec. 31.
  • Please support emergency rental assistance so millions of people like me can have a home to survive this public health crisis.

Even if rental assistance is unavailable in your county, you can get protection from the CDC’s eviction moratorium. But you need to apply! (Click here for details)

The following list includes programs that provide temporary rental assistance to households experiencing a financial hardship and are either unable to pay current rent or behind on past rent. Some programs may impose additional eligibility criteria, such as income limits or having an eviction notice. But being at imminent risk of homelessness should not be a requirement for these programs.