With rent due right around the corner, Dayton organizations urge for financial assistance programs

Local News

"People who need help just need to apply."

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– The first of a new month is right around the corner which most likely means rent is due. However, the reality of being evicted may be approaching fast.

“The panic, the concern and the worry has really been in the last two months for individual families that did not have resources coming in,” said United Way of Greater Dayton Area’s Vice President of Community Impact Tracy Sibbling.

The United Way of Greater Dayton Area has gotten more than 1,000 phone calls to their 24 hour hotline from people needing help with rent and directed them towards the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership.

“I believe CAP has had an unprecedented number of calls for assistance and so it’s really a matter of trying to manage that and process everything as quickly as possible,” said Sibbling.

Montgomery County received $92-million in coronavirus relief through the federal CARES Act. So far, $569,000 of it has been given to 112 residents for mortgage assistance and $425,000 has helped more than 200 people with rent and utilities.

“When I first heard, it was like 5,600 applications between rent and utility so we know there is a huge need for it,” said Montgomery County Business Services PIO Michael Zimmerman. “We want to make sure that people who need help are applying and we’re also working to get through those applications as quickly as we can, there’s obviously a huge need for it.”

National research shows the number of evictions dropped early in the pandemic, which is largely due to a federal moratorium on evictions. Now that it has expired, advocates worry they could drastically increase in September.

“It’s not clear if filings are down because renters are receiving the necessary assistance and preventive measures, or something else,” said Ohio Housing Finance Agency Chief Communications Officer Dorcas Taylor Jones. “Some experts say a ‘tsunami’ could come in September or not at all. Therefore, the outcome is difficult to predict.”

The county says the money is there to give out, but people need to apply to get help. The two major programs that residents have used for assistance is their small business program and housing programs within the city.

“There’s such a huge need and such a basic human need that so many people are struggling with right now,” said Zimmerman. “It was a no-brainer taking those funds and putting them towards helping individuals and families pay their housing bills.”

Governor Mike DeWine’s most recent covid-response press conference said he’s hoping to send out an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment funds beginning in mid to late September.

If you need help with rent assistance, click here for 24-hour responses from the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area.

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