Hamilton Co. providing $5M in rental assistance

Updated: Jun. 10, 2020 at 9:49 AM EDT
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HAMILTON COUNTY (FOX19) - Hamilton County Health Commissioner Denise Driehaus said Wednesday that the county will provide $5 million in rental assistance.

The county is seeking partner agencies to help distribute the assistance that can be used to pay rent or utilities for people who are unable to pay because of COVID-19.

As evictions resumed Monday in Hamilton County for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic halted them nearly three months ago, a “one-stop” center to help keep people in their homes was unveiled.

More than 1,000 eviction cases are now pending.

“In the midst of a global pandemic and record unemployment, now is not the time to be evicting people,” Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval said.

The Eviction Help Center is located directly across from the Hamilton County Municipal Courtroom that will hold eviction hearings at the justice center, according to the release. Both landlords and tenants who visit the Help Center can receive legal resources and information about emergency rental assistance.

If you are facing eviction and need help, visit: http://cincyhelpcenter.org

Last week, Commissioner Victoria Parks said the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners is in the planning stages of declaring racism a public health crisis.

“The black community is facing two pandemics - the coronavirus and racism. Both are extremely deadly,” she said.

Parks said protests must be replaced with policy change.

“African Americans have struggled since we’ve gotten here. We need your help. We need you to raise your children in a manner where they don’t feel superior. It is time to dismantle a system that leads to poverty,” she said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 2,918 coronavirus cases and 173 deaths.

“Testing is one of the main components of our work toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to interim Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. “Testing and then isolating positive cases while performing extensive contact tracing is the roadmap to ending this pandemic. As testing becomes more widely available, we want to make sure the public is aware of how to find testing locations,” Kesterman adds.

The site lists testing locations throughout Hamilton County, along with the requirements and direction for accessing testing at each location. As more testing becomes available, more sites will be added to the list.

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