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Cuyahoga County secures millions to help renters

County officials work to avoid mass evictions by securing rental assistance.

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County says it’s doing its best to make sure renters can stay in their apartments and homes as people have struggled to pay rent during the pandemic. 

On Monday, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced the county secured $10 million more dollars to help.

“A lot of people have had to choose between food and rent and keeping the lights on. It’s a horrible situation for people who have lost income,” says Budish.

That’s why Cuyahoga County requested and received an additional $10 million dollars, on top of the $20 million already received to help with rental assistance. 

Kris Keniray with The Housing Center says their phones have been ringing off the hook.

“People need financial assistance cause they’ve lost income, lost family members who used to receive income who are no longer a member of their household, who’ve had their hours cut or their wages reduced,” says Keniray.

Budish tells 3News the goal is to keep locals in their home so they don’t have to move during the pandemic.

“It would be devastating to the county if we end up with a tsunami of evictions and people become homeless. We can’t allow that to happen,” says Budish.

The CDC’s eviction moratorium is scheduled to end in about six weeks. Keniray says people need to look at the totality of expenses that face people when they move and causes extra stress for people not being evicted.

“You have to pay movers, to pay application fees, to pay a security deposit and first and potentially last month’s rent to the place you’re moving and keep up with your current rent at the same time. That on its own is still overwhelming,” says Keniray.

Armond Budish says the county will continue to seek more funding.

“30 million dollars is not enough and we’re seeing the need out there,” says Budish.

Any renters in financial distress because of COVID in Cuyahoga County can apply for emergency rental assistance by calling 833-377-RENT (7368) or visiting www.neorenthelp.org.

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