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Rental assistance programs Ohio

A range of local and government agencies as well as charities in Ohio offer emergency rental assistance. There are also government programs from HUD as well as Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) that provide long term, affordable housing or funds to pay security or utility deposits as well as moving costs. Find help with rent near you in OH.

Low-income families and struggling tenants in OH will get assistance from non-profits and government agencies in counties, towns, and cities listed below. There are also statewide homeless prevention programs that help with rent, utilities, lease application fees, deposits and more.

Assistance is available statewide. Most of the rental assistance (emergency and longer term) is for the most vulnerable in Ohio who are also on the path to financial stability. This means that veterans, low-income families in job training, single mothers, at risk elderly, or the disabled-on SSI. In almost all cases, either the ODJFS or a local charity will require case management, budgeting, and job training/placement with any funds.

Local and statewide programs for rent help or subsidies

There are a few statewide and even national programs offered. They include the following. In general, since these are government programs there are stricter income requirements, and the budgets are set by the state of Ohio or Federal government annually.

  • Cash assistance, including for back rent, is available from the ODJFS (Ohio Department of Job and Family Services) which will often use a grant. This Ohio Works cash program is funding by statewide funds. More on cash aid in Ohio.
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD) runs the section 8 voucher program in Ohio. This is rent subsidized homes and apartments for the very low income/families in poverty, senior citizens or the disabled. Locate section 8 housing apartments in Ohio.




  • Legal Services Corporation, or LSC of Ohio, has lawyers on site that offer free legal aid to stop evictions. They can represent tenants in housing court, advise them on their legal rights, content illegal evictions, and give other support. They also help minorities and immigrants with housing discrimination. Find free lawyers in Ohio.
  • Each and every county and most major cities in Ohio offer homeless prevention and rapid rehousing programs. These are funded by charities, churches, local donors, and others. There may be emergency funds to pay rent or utilities, including water bills, to stop evictions. Or funds can pay first months rent or security deposits. More on homeless prevention and rapid rehousing help in Ohio.
  • The statewide COHHIO, or Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, is part of the Continuum of Care. State of Ohio and local governments partner to offer one rent rental assistance, free motel vouchers, transitional housing, apartments and more. There is a tenant emergency crisis line. More on COHHIO tenant rent help.
  • The Ohio United Way offers referrals to charities, churches, government programs, emergency loan programs, and much more. Whether it is food, medical help, rent assistance, mortgage help, or something else, there is support given. Read more on United Way rental assistance programs.
  • Volunteers of America in Ohio (VoA) offers many housing solutions. While money to pay rent may be offered, it is not a focus. Most of the support is homeless shelters, veteran assistance, transitional housing, and low-cost apartments. Continue with VOA Ohio housing.
  • Community Action hardship grants for rent are available. Each town, city and county has a non-profit community action agency that help people that are living in, or close to poverty. There are applications to grants such as ESG which can pay back rent, budgeting, landlord-tenant mediation and other support. More on OH community action phone numbers.





Local programs that help with rent in Ohio

As noted, there are many national and local resources. Select a county or city below or statewide program above. Whether it is free lawyers to help with housing courts, emergency funds to pay back rent, help moving, furniture, or something else, resources are offered.

Allen County

Butler County

Clark County and Springfield

Clermont County

Cuyahoga County and Cleveland

Fairfield County

Franklin County and Columbus

Greene County

Hamilton County and Cincinnati

Lake County

Licking County

Lorain County

Lucas County and Toledo

Mahoning and Trumbull County

Medina County

Montgomery County and Dayton




Portage County

Richland County

Stark County

Summit County and Akron

Tuscarawas County

Warren County

Wayne County

Wood and Hancock County


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By Jon McNamara


















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