Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief

$3.5 Million in Assistance Is Available through the Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief Program

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Hamilton County Commissioners awarded three separate contracts last week to help Hamilton County renters stay in their homes and keep the lights on during the COVID-19-pandemic. The Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief Program draws on CARES Act funds to provide short term assistance to renters who live in Hamilton County and can document income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Freestore Foodbank, Talbert House and Community Action Agency were awarded the competitively bid contracts totaling $3.5 million. Together, the providers aim to help more than 1,200 renting households. 

“So many in Hamilton County are struggling right now to pay their rent and utilities due to lost income from COVID19” said Commission President Denise Driehaus. “This assistance will allow families to stay in their homes and avoid eviction.”

“Keeping families who are financially impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic from becoming homeless, is clearly one of our top priorities,” Said Commission Vice President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “By working with the tenants and the landlords, we can make arrangements to ensure people can stay in their homes.”

The County will pay up to three months’ rent and utilities payments with a maximum of $2,500 for households at or below 80% of the Area Median Income:

Number of People in Household 1 2 3 4 5 6
Max Income 80% of Area Median Income  $48,350 $55,250 $62,150 $63,050 $74,600 $80,100
Number of People in Household Max Income 80% of Area Median Income 
1 $48,350
2 $55,250
3 $62,150
4 $63,050
5 $74,600
6 $80,100

 

The providers will also work with landlords to ensure that the renters will not be evicted for non-payment. 

“Right now, there are families in our county deciding between paying rent or keeping food on the table,” said Commissioner Victoria Parks. “This grant money is for them so they can survive this pandemic without facing homelessness.”

“Freestore Foodbank is thrilled to be able to assist local families with rent and utility needs to ensure stability during these difficult times,” said Kurt Reiber, Freestore Foodbank CEO. “Thank you Hamilton County Commissioners for making this resource through the CARES Act available to households in need as we know the negative effects of COVID-19 continue to challenge our community.” 

“Talbert House appreciates this opportunity to provide rent and utility assistance as well as offer connection to primary care, employment and mental health and substance use treatment to the residents of Hamilton County,” said Jimmy Wilson, Talbert House Vice President.  

“The funding provided by Hamilton County will expand CAA’s ability to help those effected by COVID-19.  At our Agency, we have seen a large increase in the number of requests for assistance due to the pandemic. These funds will ensure that we can continue to meet people where they are and provide them with the support needed during this time,” said Mark Lawson, President/CEO for the Community Action Agency. 

How to Apply

To apply, Hamilton County renters can contact:

Community Action Agency
     https://www.cincy-caa.org/
     (513) 569-1840, option #4
     epa@cincy-caa.org

Freestore Foodbank
Freestore has suspended its program due to overwhelming response.

Talbert House
     https://www.talberthouse.org/
     (513) 338-8596 (24-hour Housing Hotline)
     RAP@talberthouse.org

Hamilton County CARES
The $3.5 million in Hamilton County CARES Rent and Utility Relief Program comes from the $142 million allocated to Hamilton County to help reduce the financial impacts of the coronavirus.  Commissioners set aside $5 million total for rental assistance. Other programs are being developed including a partnership with the Clerk of Courts on an eviction settlement program that will work in conjunction with current programs.  

Posted on 07/24/2020