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Cuyahoga County eviction and rehousing assistance.

Immediate eviction assistance may be provided to tenants in Cuyahoga County if they meet the criteria in place. For those clients that are currently homeless, then agencies across the region will determine if rapid rehousing can be used to limit the time frame in which the family is homeless.

One of the main goals is to keep the family or individual in a shelter for as short a time frame as possible. This means that the various homelessness prevention programs (which are noted below) would rather stop the eviction from occurring in the first place. But if that goal can't be met, then streamlining the process to get the individual back into some form of affordable, permanent housing is emphasized.

Grants, legal aid, and support to stop evictions

On an annual basis, non-profits in Cuyahoga County apply for a program known as Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) from the federal government. There is usually one local agency that helps decide which organizations get these funds, and it can be the Department of Job and Family Services, the Care Alliance or the United Way among others. They also partner with HUD on deciding this.

Once the money has been distributed to local non-profits, they will then allocate the money as they see fit. The primary condition is that the funds from ESG need to be used to provide a wide range of eviction prevention programs to Cleveland Ohio and throughout the county.

HUD will put some guidelines on what is offered in the community. There are also many agencies that are focused solely on the lack of affordable housing in the community, such as Frontline. Examples of what a struggling renter can apply for is as follows.

  • Federal government ESG grants can pay for housing expenses for those facing an eviction. This may be rental arrears, heating or water bills, or utilities.
  • Self-sufficiency programs, both financial in nature including credit repair or employment related, such as job training services.
  • Landlord-tenant mediation can be used to resolve disputes over back rent due.
  • Cleveland area law firms provide free legal aid that covers illegal evictions and other tenant rights.





Due to the fact that the grant recipients in Cuyahoga County can decide what services they want to offer, there may also be housing programs tailored for an unique situation. There may be not only rental assistance given to a single mom to stop the eviction, but ESG may also pay for some of the day care so the parent can get a job. Another big use of the money is to help senior citizens in the community that may be homelessness without some form of aid.

The specialists at the FrontLine Service Coordinated Intake and Assessment center (phone number below) are a source of information on these programs. This non-profit not only helps coordinate the eviction prevention services in the community, but they support needy by linking them to the best resource.

Find help from Cuyahoga County Rapid Re-Housing

This program is for residents that are currently living in a transitional housing unit or a shelter. It is very rarely an option for the chronically homeless as they often have other barriers that need to be overcome first. But there can always be exceptions made by the non-profits administering the program, and the team at FrontLine may have insight on this.

For those that are found to be qualified, housing specialists will work with the client throughout the process. Rapid rehousing has been shown to be effective in breaking a cycle of evictions because it combines short term financial help with long term case management. The formerly homeless family will be enrolled into the service for an extended period of time. During this, they will be able to continue to take part in outreach.

In some cases, an agency may be able to arrange for the applicant to obtain financial aid. Once a new apartment has been located in the Cleveland Ohio area, there may be grants available to pay for moving expenses or the lease application fee. Some short term rental assistance may be arranged as well, or even no-interest loans for paying some of the security deposit.





The Rapid-rehousing Service may also place the family into other, government funded programs such as the following.

  • PATH - Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness staff (PATH) is for evicted individuals that have a serious mental disability. It combined housing and medical support.
  • Males in Cuyahoga County may seek help from Bridges to Housing or North Point Transitional Housing.
  • Operation Cleveland is for veterans and their families. Rent, deposit assistance, food, ongoing eviction prevention advice, and more is part of Supportive Services for Veterans Families.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing can house senior citizens or the physically disabled that were evicted and are now homeless.
  • Ex-prisoners may apply for Returning Home Ohio.
  • Norma Herr Women’s Center is for homeless women as well as single mothers.

Ongoing services are always part of homeless prevention in Cleveland. This will help decrease the total number of chronically homeless residents in the county. It will help them access government benefits, such as section 8 vouchers or legal aid, to prevent additional evictions and otherwise stabilize the family. For more information on any resources, call 216.623.6888.



By Jon McNamara

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