Columbus, Ohio - Stabilizing Housing for At-Risk Communities -Council Passes Legislation to Help Curb Evictions and Homelessness
Council Passes Legislation to Help Curb Evictions and Homelessness
[COLUMBUS, OH] As temperatures throughout the City begin to drop, those already struggling with financial hardship are being frozen out of their homes. The rates of homelessness and housing instability are rising, and Columbus City Council is working diligently with local non-profit organizations to make sure every resident has a place to be warm, safe and dry.
On Monday, December 12, 2016, Councilmember Jaiza Page sponsored ordinance 3209-2016 to provide emergency funding to residents at risk of becoming evicted or in need of rental assistance. It specifically targets low-income residents living at or below the poverty level.
“Safe and affordable housing is a vital component to our City’s growth. We need to ensure that once families find a home, they can stay there,” said Councilmember Page.
The legislation grants $48,000 in funding to the YMCA, Eldon and Elise Branch; HandsOn Central Ohio; The Breathing Association and IMPACT Community Action to combat this issue. The Community Shelter Board will serve as the fiscal agent.
The goal of the program is to serve as an immediate stop measure that connects landlords and residents with emergency funding to pay for rent and/or utilities.
“We have to use a holistic approach when tackling evictions and homelessness,” Page continued. “There are times when emergency measures need to be taken to keep our residents off of the streets.”
Franklin County has one of the highest eviction rates in the state of Ohio.
“I appreciate the work agencies are doing throughout Columbus to help prevent individuals and families from losing their homes. This is especially true as expenses rise during the cold months,” Page continued.
This past November, President Pro Tem Priscilla Tyson also allocated funding to assist with evictions. The Community Mediation Services runs the Homeless Prevention Program which provides resources to help residents obtain or maintain stable, long-term housing. Tenants targeted by this program have already received a 3-day notice to vacate their rental housing from their landlord or an eviction summons from the Franklin County Municipal Court.
Those in need of assistance should contact the individual non-profit organization for additional information: