Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Melanie Crabill
Director of Media Relations
[email protected]

Kevin Kilbane
Director of Communications
[email protected]

Media Advisory
News Date: September 13, 2022

City and County Distribute Additional $20 Million for Rent and Utility Assistance

The City of Columbus and Franklin County have authorized distribution of another $20 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance Funding. This funding supports renters who have experienced a loss of income from the COVID-19 pandemic and are at risk of losing housing. Since the pandemic began, the city has provided more than $40 million in federal funding to residents for rent and utility assistance.

“In Ohio, employment is back to 97.7% of where it was in February 2020, but for some in our city, the economic effects of the pandemic are just as present today as they were two years ago. Many of our neighbors still wonder if they can make this month’s rent, or are choosing between food and utilities. This additional funding is our way of calming those worries,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Through partnerships with our local nonprofits, we have put an extraordinary amount of funding in the hands of our residents.”

The State of Ohio recently reallocated its surplus ERA funds to seven cities and counties. Among those local entities, the City of Columbus and Franklin County were each awarded $10 million. In late August, while Columbus City Council was on recess, Mayor Ginther authorized $500,000 of the $10 million to be granted to IMPACT Community Action through an executive order. Action by City Council distributes the remaining $9.5 million to the organization, which specializes in rent and utility assistance, among other series.

“The pandemic helped expose a variety of areas that require immediate support and attention in our community,” said President Erica C. Crawley.  “Many families are just one missed paycheck, health crisis, or car repair away from not being able to pay their rent. It is incumbent on us not only to support them in what continues to be a difficult time for many but also to continue to work on our systems so that these families can get back on track for the long term.”

IMPACT Community Action recently reopened rent and utility assistance applications after closing applications in July, as existing funding was spent down. The new funding will also enable IMPACT team members to return to eviction courts across the region to offer on-site assistance. Often, these funds are available to cover a year of rent and utility assistance and can simultaneously be used to catch up on past-due rent. These funds are available to pay reasonable late fees, moving expenses, security deposits and home interest costs. The City of Columbus has also awarded more than $20 million of its ERA Funding to 26 community organizations that pursue the equitable distribution of rental assistance.

Prior to this funding, the county commissioners have provided more than $8.2 million in emergency rental assistance to Franklin County residents through IMPACT Community Action.  This additional $10 million will more than double the number of residents that can be assisted. Households that have been financially hurt by the pandemic and which are at or below 80% of the area median income will be eligible, and the average amount of assistance per household will be about $3,500.

For more information on rental assistance and the resources available throughout the city and county