affordable housing

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Columbus already had a competitive rental market. Now, as the pandemic enters its fifth month and federal coronavirus unemployment benefits dry up, many people won’t be able to pay rent on August 1.

Millions of Americans are facing the threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday.

That eviction moratorium, coupled with unemployment assistance established in the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

A "cargominium" housing development in Columbus was torn down before it was completed.
Debbie Holmes / WOSU

A "cargominium" housing development on Columbus' Northeast Side, which was built from reused shipping containers, is coming down before a single resident moved in.

Protesters in downtown Columbus on June 4, 2020.
Nick Evans / WOSU

At protest after protest in Columbus, demonstrators have waved signs with calls to action like "abolish the police," "disband the police" or "defund the police."

There's a lot of money to account for: Columbus spends more than a third of its nearly $1 billion budget on police.

Adora Namigadde / WOSU

After a more than two-month pause, eviction proceedings resume in Franklin County on Monday, leading some housing advocates to worry about a potential wave of people looking for new housing during the ongoing pandemic.

More than 30 million people have applied for unemployment as of April 30, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many are falling behind on their rent and are being evicted, despite new rules designed to stop evictions. Experts say the moratoriums by state and local officials don't go far enough and are leaving tenants vulnerable.

"My main concern is that I'll be evicted," says David Perez. The self-employed father of one sells artisanal wares, like wallets and sandals, at a flea market in Elkridge, Md. "What's going to happen to my family?"

Cook County Deputy Sheriff Scott Hunter posts the final eviction notice on an apartment in Evanston, Ill., Tuesday, March 17, 2009.
Charles Arbogast / AP

A coalition of tenants and landlords is calling on Congress to include $100 billion for rental assistance in its next coronavirus relief measure.

Children in the Move To Prosper program hold up posters.
Move To Prosper

A three-year pilot program called Move To Prosper is showing the way to a successful future for 10 Columbus women and their families.

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

It’s the first of the month, which means it’s time to pay rent. But with unemployment claims at all-time high because of the coronavirus, many tenants in Ohio are worrying about their ability to keep up with payments. 

Erik Drost / Flickr

Cleveland City Council is considering an ordinance that would declare racism to be a public health crisis.

Akron is facing disproportionately high eviction rates compared to the rest of Ohio, and residents are seeking ways to educate and protect themselves. The Sound of Ideas Community Tour visited the Akron-Summit County Public Library to discuss the issue, identified in a Princeton University study.

According to the study, the city ranks first in Ohio for eviction rates and falls in the top 25 nationally. That has ramifications for the county’s health ratings, said Akron Health Equity Ambassador Tamiyka Rose.

Redlands, Calif., is known for its orange groves, its Victorian homes, and its small-town feel. Sixty miles east of Los Angeles, the city is home to about 75,000 people. But that number is expected to get a lot bigger.

"Redlands is already changing," says Mayor Paul Foster, "and this is just more of the future that's coming."

HUD Secretary Ben Carson presents a mock-up of a check to Sonya Thesing, executive director of Huckleberry House, which works with teens and families in crisis from abuse, violence, poverty and homelessness.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development came to Columbus to announce new money to combat homelessness across the country – the day after a new report showed a slight increase in Ohio’s homeless population.

Mount Carmel's street outreach team goes out to homeless camps around Columbus to give check-ups and prescribe medicine.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

An annual one-night nationwide homelessness survey mandated by the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development showed a slight uptick in Ohio's population.

HUD administrator Joseph Galvan announces several grants for Central Ohio.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday awarded several grants totaling nearly $300,000 to help connect people to housing in Columbus. 

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