Ohio Group: New Eviction Moratorium Buys Time

Eviction Notice for Nonpayment document with a wooden judge gavel
by J.D. Davidson


An Ohio group applauded the federal government’s move to issue a new eviction moratorium just as courts across Ohio were beginning the process of hearing eviction cases again this week.

The Biden administration announced a new moratorium on evictions Tuesday evening despite doubts over whether the order will hold up in court.

The order lasts 60 days and applies only to areas hit hardest by COVID-19. It was issued after the previous order expired Saturday and is expected to cover roughly 80% of counties in the U.S.

“We’re pleased that the Biden Administration recognized the threat that eviction poses to efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. This extension will help prevent unnecessary evictions, at least in places where the virus is spreading, which includes most of Ohio,” Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition of Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, said in a statement.

Faith said tenants needing help can submit a declaration form stating they are eligible for protection under the moratorium and apply for emergency rental assistance. He also called on the state’s congressional delegation to support an expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

“The order buys two more months to get emergency rental assistance out to tenants, which is especially important because it takes time to build this new program from scratch,” Faith said. “We need structural change that expands access to affordable housing so the next public health crisis doesn’t immediately become a housing crisis as well.”

The COHHIO expected a drawn out impact from the moratorium lifting because courts can handle only so many cases, and it estimated only half of the tenants realized it existed. Because there was no statewide moratorium, evictions continued during the pandemic, albeit at a lower rate, according to Marcus Roth, COHHIO communications and development director.

Ohio typically deals with between 7,500-10,000 eviction case filings a month. Those dropped to 1,703 in April 2020, when many local courts stopped hearing eviction cases, according to COHHIO. Cases resumed later in the year, but at a lower level.

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An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Eviction notice” by Marco Verch Professional Photographer CC BY 2.0.








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