Council and Community Organizations Launch Eviction Prevention Program
partnership will fight to keep families in homes across Columbus
managing attorney of the housing team at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus;
Latisha Chastang, director of emergency services for Impact Community Action,
joined Councilmember Shayla Favor to announce the creation of the Eviction
[Columbus, OH] The need for affordable housing in Central Ohio
is reaching a tipping point. Families are trying to manage rising housing and
rental prices. In Columbus, evictions are one of the leading causes of housing
instability. On October 8, 2019, Councilmember Shayla Favor, Impact Community
Action, and Legal Aid Society presented a solution to keep families in their
homes - the Eviction Prevention Program (EPP).
“We’ve heard the stories. We know the statistics and impact on
the community,” said Councilmember Favor. “Most of the people we encounter have
suffered a sudden financial hardship that leads to being evicted. We are
stepping in with the pilot program to provide help.”
The EPP is a $300,000 fund that provides emergency financial and
legal support for residents. It consists of two distinct components. Impact
Community Action Emergency Assistance Department will provide rental or
mortgage help. The Legal Aid Society of Columbus will provide access to a
Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP) attorney to advocate on behalf of
“We have examined the data and talked to residents. Now is the
time to apply that knowledge and create some solutions for families,” Favor
Helping Families Cope with Sudden
Impact Community Action is a non-profit focused on reducing
poverty in Franklin County. The Emergency Assistance Department provides
intervention strategies to stabilize households and strengthen
“The cost to keep a family in their home is a fraction of the
exorbitant cost to shelter and rehouse a family once they have been evicted,”
said Impact Community Action Executive Director Robert Chilton. “Families often
lose possessions that are hard to replace and once they receive an eviction on
their record, it is next to impossible to find safe and stable housing.
Eviction prevention is a critically important component to addressing our
In 2016, Impact Community Action helped 539 households with
transportation, furniture rental and water utility assistance.
Helping Residents Understand the
Law of Housing
Legal Aid Society Columbus will provide legal assistance to
residents facing eviction. Each day, an average of 75 tenant families
receives eviction paperwork from Franklin County Municipal Court. About half of
those go to their eviction hearings.
“They are predominantly women with children," said Ben
Horne from The Legal Aid Society of Columbus. "Typically, they are being
evicted for owing a month or less of rent."
Evictions have long-lasting ramifications on tenants impacting
their rental history and credit rating. This action contributes to homelessness
and housing instability. Access to a TAP attorney can keep families in their
homes and out of the homeless shelter system.
"The goal with every case is to try to keep the family in
its home. If that is not possible, we want to give the tenants more time to
secure new housing," Favor continued. "Let's connect them with
resources for a successful move, and have the case resolved without a
credit-damaging eviction judgment or a costly set-out."
Access to an attorney has proven positive results for tenants.
Less than one percent of tenants who work with TAP leave court with an eviction
"Strong neighborhoods start with safe places to live,"
said Favor. “We are working to stabilize the future of Columbus through this