Written by Cynthia Cole, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, and Joe Armstrong, Content Specialist, Marketing, Downtown Main Library
The pandemic exacerbated the pre-existing eviction crisis in our community by destabilizing families, creating trauma, and increasing poverty. Evictions disproportionally affect the lowest income neighborhoods and have an even greater impact on Black female-headed households and communities of color.
The rate of evictions in Hamilton County is staggering. The Hamilton County Municipal Court is hearing 75 eviction cases per day, and while some cases are continued or dismissed most result in an eviction. This means a family must move out in just seven days or have their belongings set out on the curb. A single eviction on a person’s record makes it harder to find safe, affordable housing for years in the future.
Organizations, Legal Aid Offer Help in Hamilton County
However, if you have received eviction court papers, help is available.
If you need immediate legal assistance, contact the Legal Aid Society at 513-241-9400 and ask for eviction prevention intake assistance.
Emergency rent assistance covering past-due rent and utilities is available for eligible families through the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA). To apply, fill out an application online, opens a new window or call 513-569-1840 and select option 4.
Additional rental assistance funds are available through Hamilton County Job & Family Services by applying online, opens a new window. Some documentation is required and due to the high demand, and the process may take a while to be completed.
Prepare Your Paperwork at the Library
If you need help getting documents to apply for assistance, the Library offers free printing, scanning, and faxing services, opens a new window at all 41 Library locations. For additional one-on-one assistance, Ask a Librarian, opens a new window is available 24/7 online and you also can request a 30-minute in-person or virtual meeting with one of our librarians.
The Library has partnered with the city of Cincinnati to provide several free workshops providing resources and information on the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants. These training sessions are available to view on the city of Cincinnati website, opens a new window.
In addition, if you live in the city of Cincinnati, the new “Pay to Stay” ordinance passed by Council Nov. 10 requires landlords to dismiss a proposed eviction if the tenant can pay all past-due rent and late fees.
The Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library are here to assist those at risk of eviction. Call Legal Aid at 513-241-9400 or go to Ask a Librarian, opens a new window to connect to eviction prevention resources.