DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Since the beginning of 2021, five local counties have received millions of dollars in emergency grants to help renters avoid being evicted from their homes. But It hasn’t been enough, with local court officials saying eviction filings keep going up.
Officials now say the federal funds that were made available during the pandemic are drying up, and it comes at the worst possible time.
The Miami Valley Community Action Partnership has a rental assistance program funded through the American Rescue Plan Act ERA 2 program. That money helps low-income households who have faced financial hardships, especially with rent or utilities.
That includes inflation, a lack of child care options, a surge in single-family incomes and a lack of affordable housing.
The monthly budget for the rental assistance program is $150,000, but despite that aid, courts in Dayton and surrounding communities say they expect to surpass 2022 evictions filings.
Marty Gehres, the Dayton Municipal Court clerk, says this is something that is common but shouldn’t be.
“At the same time as those decreased governmental funds are available, an increased amount of need has occurred,” said Gehres. “So that has really pinched a lot of tenants and a lot of people in the county and specifically in the City of Dayton.”
The ERA 2 program is now in its second phase. It started in January 2023 and is scheduled to end in December 2024, but officials say they expect the money to run out before then.