Keeping your family in your home
Have you lost income or been laid off due to COVID-19? You may qualify for several rent and utilities programs designed to keep families safe in their homes by helping with rent, mortgage, utilities, and eviction prevention. Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati are allocating millions of Emergency Rental Funds.
Rent and Utility Programs
Hamilton County Rent and Utility Program (HCJFS)
The Hamilton County Rent and Utility Relief Program draws on 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 County will pay up to 12 months for rent, rent arrears and utilities for households at or below 80% of the Area Median Income:
|Number of People in Household||Max Income 80% of Area Median Income|
|Number of People in Household||1||2||3||4||5||6|
|Max Income 80% of Area Median Income||$47,850||$54,650||$61,500||$68,300||$73,800||$79,250|
Hamilton County Residents can apply for rent, water, and/or gas/electric assistance. Once you apply, you will be contacted to complete an interview and might be asked to provide additional documents and information about your circumstances.
United Way 211 Care Navigators can help you through the application process. If you have difficulty uploading appropriate documents to the application, creating an email account to apply, or submitting your application, contact the United Way 211 Care Navigators. Call 211, text 211CARES to 51555, or email email@example.com and ask for Cares Application Support for assistance. Note: Use the links provided in your email after applying to check your application status.
CALL – (513) 946-7200
Community Action Agency (CAA)
Through the Ohio Home Relief Programs, CAA is able to assist renters and homeowners with their past due rent, utility, water, gas and electric bills. Those interested in receiving assistance through the program should visit: https://www.cincy-caa.org/what-we-do/supportive-services/caa-home-relief.html to find out if they are qualified or call (513) 569-1840 option 4 to get in touch with a customer service representative who will walk you through the application process.
APPLY – https://apply.cincy-caa.org/
CALL – (513) 569-1840, option 4
Emergency Broadband Benefit
Beginning May 12, eligible residents can enroll to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households.
Per the FCC’s website, https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit, the following are eligibility requirements (if a member of household meets one of the criteria):
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
Save the Dream Ohio
Save the Dream Ohio is administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) and funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Homeowner Assistance Fund. Homeowners with gross annual incomes less than 150% of the household area median income who experienced a financial hardship due to a material reduction in income or material increase in living expenses associated with the coronavirus pandemic after January 21, 2020, MAY be eligible to apply.
EMAIL – SavetheDream@ohiohome.org
CALL – (888) 404-4674
The Centers for Disease Control issued a federal eviction moratorium in effect from September 4, 2020 to March 31, 2021, and extended through July 31, 2021, but that does not mean that you can’t be evicted during the COVID-19 emergency. Struggling renters who are behind on payments must take action and apply for protection:
Hamilton County Eviction Help Center
The Help Center for Hamilton County Municipal Court in Ohio provides people with education, information, and limited legal advice. You can visit their website, call the number below, or you can visit in person located in room 113 of the Hamilton County Courthouse at 1000 Main Street.
VISIT – https://cincyhelpcenter.org/
CALL – (513) 946-5650
HOME’s mission is to eliminate unlawful discrimination in housing in the Greater Cincinnati area. HOME advocates and enforces housing regulations for all protected classes and promotes stable, integrated communities. They provide tenant advocacy and ensure fair housing compliance.
CONTACT – https://homecincy.org/contact-us/
CALL – (513) 721-4663
Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
Legal Aid represents low income people in evictions cases in seven counties in Southwest Ohio. Tenants needing assistance should call their main number (513) 241-9400 and ask for “housing intake.” Tenants who have court papers should call our intake line as soon as they are served. Tenants who do not yet have eviction court papers, but who need rental assistance due to COVID or other reasons, should first contact one of our community partners to apply for rental assistance.
CALL – (513) 241-9400, ask for “housing intake”
The Talbert House Homelessness Prevention Program can provide up to four months of rent and utilities paid, and requires a Notice to Leave / Eviction Notice.
Income Eligibility: 30% of AMI
CALL – (513) 338-8596
The Talbert House Supportive Services for Veterans and Families Program can provide up to three months of rent and utilities paid, and requires a Notice to Leave / Eviction Notice.
Income Eligibility: 50% AMI, based on 30 days income
CALL – (513) 381-7233
Strategies to End Homelessness
Are you looking for homeless shelters near you? We’re here to help. First, call our CAP Line at (513) 381-SAFE (7233). The Central Access Point (CAP) is a centralized intake system for families and individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless. Begin your journey, from shelter, to hope and stability. If you are currently homeless or experiencing a housing crisis, please call. Our Intake Specialists will gather information about your situation and help place you in a shelter or provide a referral to a partner agency for help.
EMAIL – firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL – (513) 381-SAFE (7233), Central Access Point (CAP Line)
Ohio Home Relief Program
The State of Ohio has designated a portion of the CARES funding to help low-income Ohioans who have fallen behind on their rent, mortgage, and water bills through the Ohio Home Relief Grant (OHRG). Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CHCCAA) is administering the OHRG in Hamilton County.