July 1, 2020 – CHN Housing Partners and EDEN, Inc. announced today the details of the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program funded by the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The program is designed to help residents of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County who are having difficulty making rental payments due to the economic impact of the pandemic and who meet income eligibility requirements. Those interested can apply at www.neorenthelp.org.
“More than ever, in this pandemic, home is everyone’s refuge,” said Kevin Nowak, executive director of CHN Housing Partners. “We are grateful to Mayor Jackson and Executive Budish for making this lifeline available for those facing financial hardships due to COVID-19 so they can remain in their homes.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s administration allocated $11.3 million as part of the Mayor’s Restart CLE plan aimed at helping the City’s residents and businesses recover from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, Cuyahoga County Executive Budish’s administration allocated $6.8 million. The funds are a mix of Community Development Block Grant dollars and dollars from the Coronavirus Relief Fund provided by the CARES Act.
“The rental assistance program is intended to alleviate the burden on Clevelanders needing assistance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “It is our intent that this assistance helps ease renters’ worries by providing resources during these stressful and uncertain times.”
CHN is the entry point to access rental assistance as well as a broad array of housing, financial counseling and referral resources. Depending on the nature of the financial hardship, Cleveland residents may be referred to EDEN for longer-term assistance.
“EDEN is honored to partner with the City of Cleveland and CHN Housing Partners to administer rental assistance through CARES Act funding,” said Elaine Gimmel, Executive Director, EDEN, Inc. “We know this has been a time of significant stress and uncertainty for many people and our goal is to assist households with needed resources to remain stably housed.”
Eligible households are those earning 120% of Area Median Income or less, which is up to $90,000 in annual income for a family of four.
Eligible applicants will receive up to three months of rental assistance which will be paid directly to the landlord. Priority is given based on criteria such as eviction status, accurate information and complete documentation.
“The pandemic has devastated the finances of thousands of county residents,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “Those suffering the most are renters with low incomes. As the courts reopen for evictions, we could see an avalanche of evictions. We are stepping up to help because we want to keep as many residents in their homes. And we want to be sure landlords are able to get the money they need.”
Residents should go online to www.neorenthelp.org in order to apply. They must have specific documentation to qualify.
Required documents include:
- Verification of COVID-19 related hardship (loss of income, illness or increased expenses)
- Photo identification for all adults in the home
- Social Security cards for all household members
- Proof of income (tax returns, paystubs or fixed income benefit award letter)
- Lease agreement
- Proof of citizenship
- Most recent utility bills (for those also applying for utility assistance)
“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of submitting complete information,” added Nowak. “Due to the expected volume, we cannot process any incomplete applications.”
CHN will also screen applicants for utility assistance programs that may help make their electric, gas and water/sewer bills more affordable. Those who qualify for rental assistance, may be required to attend more in-depth financial counseling, provided by CHN, as a condition for rental assistance.
A hotline has been set up to answer questions. That number is 833-377-RENT (7368). No applications can be taken over the phone. Residents are encouraged to apply online at www.neorenthelp.org. Applications can also be submitted online from a mobile phone. A paper application can be printed out and completed. Those can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or left in the rental assistance drop box at CHN’s offices located on the first floor of 2999 Payne Avenue (Room 134).