Demand for rental assistance increases in greater Cincinnati

0

Local leaders say the need for housing assistance is growing in Hamilton County and organizations providing assistance are struggling to meet the growing demand. This comes as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a sobering report this week. It shows the government’s consumer price index rose 9.1% last month, the fastest year-on-year jump since 1981. Mark. B Lawson, president and CEO of Community Action Agency, said the current level of need is overwhelming. “We’re devoting as many resources as we have to the problem. We see the need and we’re trying to do our best,” Lawson said. “Demand has skyrocketed. Even in the last month, our demands have doubled. We are seeing more and more people come to us who already have evictions and court dates, which was not the case before. “Lawson told CAA. has received about $60 million in federal funds since the pandemic began, funding that has helped several thousand families stay in their homes. A local mother has benefited from the scheme but believes the influx of people in need has helped slip her case through the cracks. Ebony Ralls and her daughter were evicted from their apartment in Sharonville. Ralls is a registered nurse who fell ill in late 2021. She learned a few months into 2022 that a stress ulcer was making her sick. She said it severely limited her ability to work. Ralls contacted the Community Action Agency for help. The organization offers rent assistance and can reimburse rent so that landlords are always paid. CAA made two payments on Ralls’ behalf, totaling $9,500 over several months. Ralls asked for help for the months of May, June and July, but there was a misunderstanding. When Ralls learned that payment had not been made, she contacted her case manager, who had left the company without her knowledge. She was expelled on June 30. “We’re not doing well,” Ralls said. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s dehumanizing.”Monarch Investment and Management Group, which manages Ralls’ former apartment building, tells WLWT they are trying to work with tenants and community groups offering help to location. In Ralls’ case, a company spokesperson said Ralls failed to appear in court to defend herself during the eviction process. The spokesman also stressed that the expulsion, ordered by a judge, was legal. “At some point, just like a human, they should have said, hey on behalf of this tenant, she asked for help, they promised money, we just haven’t received it yet” , Ralls said. “Even being in a hotel, at least we are not outside.” CAA covers her hotel costs while she searches for a new home. The group also has the option of paying security deposits and the first month’s rent for those who request it. “The rental market, like all markets, is exploding right now, so we’re seeing a lot of landlords who no longer want to work with us or who are evicting much, much faster than in the past,” Lawson said. “They know if one tenant leaves, they can rent to the next person for double, triple, quadruple the rent they’re paying now.” Lawson worries about the end of the year. Federal funds, passed through the state, expire on September 30. The CAA pleaded for more money, but learned this week it might not get much more from the state. . It’s not going to be enough,” Lawson said. “It keeps me awake at night, yes.”

Local leaders say the need for housing assistance is growing in Hamilton County and organizations providing assistance are struggling to meet the growing demand.

This comes as the US Bureau of Labor Statistics released a sobering report this week.

It shows the government’s consumer price index rose 9.1% last month, the fastest year-on-year jump since 1981.

To mark. B Lawson, president and CEO of Community Action Agency, said the current level of need is overwhelming.

“We’re devoting as many resources as we have to the problem. We see the need and we’re trying to do our best,” Lawson said. “Demand has skyrocketed. Even in the last month, our inquiries have doubled. We’re seeing more and more people come to us who already have evictions and court dates, which wasn’t the case before.”

Lawson said CAA has received about $60 million in federal funding since the pandemic began, funding that has helped several thousand families stay in their homes.

A local mother has benefited from the scheme but believes the influx of people in need has helped slip her case through the cracks.

Ebony Ralls and her daughter were evicted from their apartment in Sharonville.

Ralls is a registered nurse who fell ill in late 2021.

She learned a few months in 2022 that a stress ulcer was making her sick.

She said it severely limited her ability to work.

Ralls contacted the Community Action Agency for help.

The organization offers rent assistance and can reimburse rent so that landlords are always paid.

CAA made two payments on Ralls’ behalf, totaling $9,500 over several months.

Ralls asked for help for the months of May, June and July, but there was a misunderstanding.

When Ralls learned that payment had not been made, she contacted her case manager, who had left the company without her knowledge.

She was expelled on June 30.

“We disagree,” Ralls said. “It’s heartbreaking. It’s dehumanizing.”

Monarch Investment and Management Group, which manages the former Ralls apartment building, tells WLWT that they try to work with tenants and community groups offering rental assistance.

In Ralls’ case, a company spokesperson said Ralls failed to appear in court to defend herself during the eviction process. The spokesman also stressed that the expulsion, ordered by a judge, was legal.

“At some point, just like a human, they should have said, hey on behalf of this tenant, she asked for help, they promised money, we just haven’t received it yet” , Ralls said. “Even being in a hotel, at least we are not outside.”

CAA covers her hotel costs while she searches for a new home. The group also has the option of paying security deposits and the first month’s rent for those who request it.

“The rental market, like all markets, is exploding right now, so we’re seeing a lot of landlords who no longer want to work with us or who are evicting much, much faster than in the past,” Lawson said. “They know if one tenant leaves, they can rent to the next person for double, triple, quadruple the rent they’re paying now.”

Lawson is concerned about the end of the year. Federal funds, passed through the state, expire on September 30.

The CAA pleaded for more money, but learned this week it might not get much more from the state.

“As it stands, we’ll get maybe $5 million statewide to distribute. That’s not going to be enough,” Lawson said. “It keeps me awake at night, yes.”

Share.

Comments are closed.