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Columbus, Franklin County distribute $20 million to help renters who lost income due to pandemic

The city said the funds are often used to cover a year of rent, utility assistance and can be used to catch up on past-due rent.
Credit: WBNS-10TV

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus and Franklin County have authorized distribution of another $20 million in federal money to help renters who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are on the verge of losing their housing.

According to Mayor Andrew Ginther's Office, the state recently reallocated a surplus of Emergency Rental Assistance funds to seven cities and counties. Both Columbus and Franklin County were awarded $10 million each.

Last month, Ginther authorized $500,000 of the money to be given to IMPACT Community Action, which specializes in rent and utility services, the city said.

City council took action to distribute the remaining $9.5 million to the organization.

“In Ohio, employment is back to 97.7% of where it was in February 2020, but for some in our city, the economic effects of the pandemic are just as present today as they were two years ago. Many of our neighbors still wonder if they can make this month’s rent, or are choosing between food and utilities. This additional funding is our way of calming those worries,” Ginther said.

IMPACT Community Action recently reopened rent and utility assistance applications after closing applications in July. The city said the new money will allow IMPACT to return to eviction courts across the area to offer on-site assistance.

The city said the funds are often used to cover a year of rent, utility assistance and can be used to catch up on past-due rent. The money is also available to pay for reasonable late fees, moving expenses, security deposits and home interest costs.

To learn more about rental assistance and resources available in the city and county, click here.

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