Keeping your family in your home

Have you lost income or been laid off due to COVID-19? You may qualify for several mortgage, rent and/or utility programs designed to keep families safe in their homes by helping with rent, mortgage, utilities, and eviction prevention.

Rent & Utility Help

Hamilton County Rent & Utility Relief (HCJFS) – Program Reopened

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. For households at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, Hamilton County will pay up to 15 months rent (12 past due and 3 future) and 12-months of past due gas, water and/or electric utilities:

Number of People in Household123456
Max Income 80% of Area Median Income$47,850$54,650$61,500$68,300$73,800$79,250

Once you apply, you may be contacted to provide additional information about your circumstances.

Before You Apply

Please be prepared to attach the following verification documents to your application:

Type of AssistanceRequired Verifications
All ApplicantsPay stubs covering 30 days and/or an unemployment statement or letter.
Rental AssistanceA statement showing the amount currently owed for rent/rent arrears.
Landlord Vendor Registration – See the instructions below. 
Please note: If your landlord does not complete the Vendor Registration, your application for assistance will be denied.
Utilities (Water or Gas/Electric)A utility bill showing the amount owed, account number, and the name and address on the account.
Your StoryHow did you suffer a financial loss due to the pandemic? Ex. Lost a job, hours cut, furlough, etc.

If you are unable to attach all the required verifications to the application, you can e-mail them to hamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov

Apply

Click here to apply

Help with application

This online application has been set up to be easily completed on a phone or computer. However, if you need assistance, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Care Coordination team can help with this online application. If you do not have internet access or access to a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to start the online application, call 211 and request to speak to a Care Coordinator or text 211CARES to 51555 to see if they can help. 

You can also visit their website: United Way 211 Helpline – Get Help | United Way of Greater Cincinnati (uwgc.org)

After you Apply

Landlord Vendor Registration

If you applied for RENT assistance, your landlord must be a registered vendor. Ask your landlord to register at: https://www.hcjfs.org/services/workforce-development/vendor-registration/. 

Submit Verifications

If the caseworker contacts you and requests additional information, a checklist will be e-mailed to you with a list of documentation still required.

If you are unable to attach all the required documents to the application, you can e-mail them to hamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov

EMAILhamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov

CALL – (513) 946-1000 option 1 for status updates on submitted applications

Community Action Agency (CAA)
*CAA is not accepting new applicants at this time*

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.

Applications are being accepted, reviewed and processed in the order received.  Court eviction cases may take precedence. 

VISIThttps://www.cincy-caa.org/what-we-do/supportive-services/caa-home-relief.html

APPLYhttps://apply.cincy-caa.org/

CALL(513) 569-1840, option 4

Mortgage Help

Hamilton County Mortgage, Property Tax and Utility Program (HCJFS)

The Hamilton County Mortgage Relief Program draws on federal relief funds to provide assistance of up to six months of past due mortgage, property taxes, and/or utilities for owner-occupied properties. Hamilton County homeowners must have established connection to residence and be the applicant’s primary residence (second homes, rental properties, Airbnb, and other similar type rentals are not eligible for assistance). Homeowners must have a household income under 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL):

Number of People in Household Max Income 300% of Federal Poverty Level
1 $40,770
2 $54,930
3 $69,090
4 $83,250
5 $97,410
6 $111,570
7 $125,730
8 $139,890

Number of People in Household
12345
300% FPL       $40,770$54,930$69,090$83,250$97,410

Before You Apply

Please be prepared to attach the following verification documents to your application:

Type of AssistanceRequired Verifications
All ApplicantsPay stubs covering 30 days and/or an unemployment statement or letter.
Mortgage AssistanceA past due mortgage statement showing the amount owed, account number, and the name and address on the account.
Mortgage Vendor Registration – See instructions below.
Please note: if your lender does not complete the Vendor Registration, your application for assistance will be denied.
Property Tax AssistanceCopy of the past due property tax bill from the Hamilton County Treasurer’s Office.
Utilities (Water or Gas/Electric)A utility bill showing the amount owed, account number, and the name and address on the account.
Your StoryWhat are the reasons you are requesting this financial assistance?

If you are unable to attach all the required verifications to the application, you can e-mail them to hamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov

Apply

Click here to apply

This online application has been set up to be easily completed on a phone or computer. However, if you need assistance, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Care Coordination team can help with this online application. If you do not have internet access or access to a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to start the online application, call 211 and request to speak to a Care Coordinator or text 211CARES to 51555 to see if they can help. 

After you Apply

Mortgage Vendor Registration

Your Mortgage lender must be a registered vendor. Ask your lender to register at: https://www.hamiltoncountyauditor.org/pdf/Finance/vendorregform.pdf  

Submit Verifications

If a Hamilton County caseworker contacts you and requests additional information, a checklist will be e-mailed to you with a list of documentation still required.

If you are unable to attach all the required documents to the application, you can e-mail them to hamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov

EMAILHamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov

CALL – (513) 946-1000 option 1 for status updates on submitted applications

Ohio Mortgage 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. This program provides a one-time payment to your participating servicer to bring you current on your mortgage. The payment may cover principal, interest, fees, delinquent taxes. 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.

APPLYhttps://savethedream.ohiohome.org/

EMAILSavetheDream@ohiohome.org

CALL(888) 404-4674

Hamilton County Senior Utility Assistance and Home Repair Program (COA)

Hamilton County Commissioners developed a Senior Utility Assistance and Home Repair Program to help eligible older adults with utility bills and home repairs. Hamilton County residents age 60 and older, who do not qualify for other assistance programs, can apply online or by calling (513) 743-9000.

Who is Eligible:

  • Hamilton County residents ages 60 and over
  • Older adult or other family member in the household currently paying the utility bill
  • Ineligible for other assistance programs
  • Household income 175%-300% of poverty:
Number of People in Household 1 2 3 4 5
Household income of 175%-300% of poverty level $23,783 – $40,770 $32,034 – $54,930 $40,303 – $69,090 $48,563 – $83,250 $56,823 – $97,410

APPLYhttps://www.help4seniors.org/hamilton-county-senior-utility-assistance-program-2

DOWNLOADHamilton County Senior Utility Assistance and Home Repair Program Application & Flyer

MAIL TO – Council on Aging, Attn: Cherry Bartlett, 4601 Malsbary Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242

CALL(513) 743-9000

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.

VISIThttps://www.cincy-caa.org/what-we-do/supportive-services/

Utility Programs

Duke Energy Bill Credit Program NEW!

Duke and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recently announced a program that will allow low-income older adults to receive credits towards their Duke energy bill. Low-income applicants who qualify may receive a $500 credit to their Duke Energy bill through the program, but those 65 and older may be eligible to receive two $500 credits to their Duke bill for a total of $1,000.

To qualify for a single $500 credit, an applicant must:

  • Have household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level ($2,683/month for a household of one; $3,629/month for a household of two).
  • Receive natural gas service from Duke Energy Ohio and have an account registered in their name.

To qualify for two $500 credits, an applicant must:

  • Be 65 or older
  • Have household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level ($2,683/month for a household of one; $3,629/month for a household of two)
  • Receive natural gas service from Duke Energy Ohio and have an account registered in their name.

To Apply :

  1. Complete the online application. If you are able, we recommend you use the online application, you may experience a long wait time to talk to a specialist by phone.
  2. If you are under 60 years old, contact Hamilton County Community Action (CAA): 513.569.1850
  3. If you are 60 or older, contact Council on Aging at Call Council on Aging (COA), Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm at (513) 721-1025 or (800) 252-0155 and select Option 2 from the menu

Please have your 12-digit Duke Energy account number and your household income information handy if you call.

Duke Energy Winter Bill Assistance

Winter brings colder weather, which can bring higher energy bills. To help prepare customers for higher energy prices this year, Duke Energy has created a comprehensive Winter Bill Fact Sheet. It explains why energy bills are increasing, includes helpful energy-saving tips and lists a wide variety of programs that are available to assist customers that are in need.

VISITwww.duke-energy.com/winterbills

INFOWinter Bill Fact Sheet

Broadband Assistance

Eligible residents can enroll to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. The Affordable Connectivity Program will provide a discount of up to $30 per month towards broadband service for eligible households.

Per the FCC’s website, https://www.fcc.gov/acp, the following are eligibility requirements (if a member of household meets one of the criteria):

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% 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;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

VISIThttps://www.fcc.gov/acp

APPLYhttps://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/

Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Greater Cincinnati Water Works is announcing a new, quick and easy way to set up payment plans for past due charges on water and utility bills! Customers can access PromisePay to enroll by mobile phone or computer. PromisePay offers automatic payments (via e-check, credit/debit, and cash apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Venmo) and text reminders. Customers will not be charged transaction fees for this service.

VISIThttps://gcww.promise-pay.com/

INFOPromisePay Flyer (Español)

QRCodePromisePay QRCode

MSD Customer Assistance Program

Metropolitan Sewer District of Great Cincinnati offers a Customer Assistance Program (CAP) to help low-income senior citizens pay their sewer bills.
Eligible applicants receive a 25% discount on their monthly sewer bill (including both the minimum base charge and the commodity charge). The estimated savings is $120 or more per year.

Eligibility

A sewer discount can only be offered to low-income seniors who meet specific eligibility requirements related to age, income, and home ownership. The eligibility requirements for the CAP are:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • Own and live in the residence for which they are paying the MSD sewer bill
  • Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of no more than $34,600 for tax year 2021. MAGI is Ohio Adjusted Gross Income plus any business income that has been deducted in computing the Ohio Adjusted Gross Income (OAGI). This applies to the combined income of the applicant and their spouse.

APPLYhttps://www.msdgc.org/Customers/customer_assistance/index.html

Eviction Prevention

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.

VISIThttps://cincyhelpcenter.org/

CALL(513) 946-5650

HOME Cincinnati

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.

CONTACThttps://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.

VISIThttps://www.lascinti.org/get-help/covid-information/ – Help and information during the pandemic

VISIThttps://lascinti.org/what-we-do/practice-groups/housing-consumer/ – Housing & consumer information

CALL(513) 241-9400, ask for “housing intake”

Talbert House

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

Household Members Income
1 $18,150
2 $20,750
3 $23,350
4 $26,200
5 $30,680
6 $35,160
7 $39,640
8 $44,120
Household Members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Income Income $18,150 $20,750 $23,350 $26,200 $30,680 $35,160 $39,640 $44,120

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

Household Members Income
1 $30,250
2 $34,550
3 $38,850
4 $43,150
5 $46,650
6 $50,100
7 $53,550
Household Members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Income $30,250 $34,550 $38,850 $43,150 $46,650 $50,100 $53,550

CALL(513) 381-7233

Homelessness

Hamilton County Shelter Diversion (Strategies to End Homelessness)

Hamilton County Commissioners approved a $3 million expansion of the Shelter Diversion Program, which provides critical support to families who are at immediate risk of being homeless. Using American Rescue Plan funds, Commissioners are building upon their commitment to support the recovery of Hamilton County families from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The county is contracting with Strategies to End Homelessness, which will coordinate the expansion with partners including Bethany House, the Freestore Foodbank, Talbert House, and Found House Interfaith Housing Network.

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.

VISIThttps://www.strategiestoendhomelessness.org/get-help/

EMAILinfo@end-homelessness.org

CALL(513) 381-SAFE (7233), Central Access Point (CAP Line)

Lydia’s House

Offering safe, stable and supportive housing to women and children in crisis and transition in greater Cincinnati.

VISIThttps://stlydiashouse.org/

APPLYhttps://stlydiashouse.org/apply/

CALL(513) 549-7752