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.
Can provide assistance with housing, utilities, rapid rehousing, food and clothing.
CALL – (513) 762-5660
Hamilton County Rent & Utility Relief (HCJFS) (No longer accepting applications)
Hamilton County’s federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) stopped accepting applications as of October 17, 2023. Applications submitted before then will be reviewed in the order received.
The review process can take 8-12 weeks due to the high volume of applications. You will be notified when the outcome of your application is reviewed. Please check your email frequently for a checklist requesting documents to verify your circumstances.
Applications that have been reviewed and accepted for further action will require at least the following: 1. Rent ledger, 2. Income statements for all adults (age 18+) in the household, 3. Landlord vendor registration, 4. Hardship statement. If utilities are requested, we need a copy of the entire utility bill.
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/.
If the caseworker contacts you and requests additional information, a checklist will be emailed to you with a list of documentation still required.
If you are unable to attach all the required documents to the application, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMAIL – email@example.com
CALL – (513) 946-1000 option 1 for status updates on submitted applications
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|
Number of People in Household
Click here to start your application for mortgage assistance.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMAIL – Hamil_caresfunding@jfs.ohio.gov
Those seeking information about the status of their application; the status of a payment to a landlord, mortgage or utility company; changing a current application; or sending missing documents, can contact the Hamilton County Job and Family Services team at (513) 946-1000 option 1.
The United Way of Greater Cincinnati Care Coordination team can help with the online Rent/Mortgage/Utility application. Call 211 and request to speak to a Care Coordinator or text 211CARES to 51555. You can also visit their website: United Way 211 Helpline – Get Help | United Way of Greater Cincinnati (uwgc.org)
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. The program is open to Hamilton County residents age 60 and older, who do not qualify for other assistance programs. The program is currently closed but will reopen Jan. 1, 2024. Visit Council on Aging’s website for more information.
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|
CALL – (513) 743-9000
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.
VISIT – www.duke-energy.com/winterbills
INFO – Winter Bill Fact Sheet
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.
VISIT – https://www.fcc.gov/acp
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.
VISIT – https://gcww.promise-pay.com/
QRCode – PromisePay 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.
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.
Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP)
The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) helps eligible Ohioans manage their energy bills year-round, offering households affordable monthly payments that help maintain gas and electric services. If your home is heated with gas, you will have a monthly payment of 6% of your household income for your natural gas bill and 6% for your electric bill. If you heat with electric, your monthly payment is 10% of your household income. The state of Ohio subsidizes the balance of your utility bill. There is a minimum monthly payment of $10.00.
CALL – (513) 685-4478
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
Hamilton County Law Library
The Hamilton County Law Library provides legal research, reference, and library services to Hamilton County and to the municipal corporations, townships, and courts within the county. The Law Library is open to the public for self-help during its regular business hours. The information provided is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. For legal assistance, consider the following organizations listed on the Law Library’s website.
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.
VISIT – https://www.lascinti.org/get-help/ – Help and information
VISIT – https://lascinti.org/what-we-do/practice-groups/housing-consumer/ – Housing & consumer information
CALL – (513) 241-9400 (ask for “housing intake”)
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.
EMAIL – email@example.com
CALL – (513) 381-SAFE (7233), Central Access Point (CAP Line)
HER Cincinnati’s mission is to empower women to break the cycles of poverty, addiction, and human trafficking. We envision a community where all women have the skills and the confidence to thrive. Our program efforts are focused in three areas: Housing, Education, and Recovery Services.
VISIT – https://hercincinnati.org/
Provides limited financial aid for paying rent or utility or security deposits to families facing homelessness. Other support is provided too, such as furniture or referrals. Families facing eviction or homelessness should first call the CAP line at (513) 381-SAFE (7233) to complete an intake assessment.
CALL – (513) 381-SAFE (7233)
Easterseals Redwoods (Veterans)
Provides assistance to veterans (or their families) in multiple ways. SSVF grants for rent or mortgages, job programs, homeless shelters and more. They help veterans find, and pay for, housing or apartments. 2901 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45206.
CALL – (513) 240-6897