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Columbus Announces $12.2 Million Towards Rental Assistance

Outside the eviction courtroom at the Franklin County Municipal Court
Outside the eviction courtroom at the Franklin County Municipal Court

The City of Columbus announced Tuesday it will distribute $12.2 million in rental assistance to 26 local community organizations.

The money is a part of the city's Stable Housing Initiative, which funds organizations that provide rental assistance, supportive services and outreach to certain groups of the city's residents. This includes victims of domestic violence, immigrants and refugees, the LGBTQ community, seniors and those with disabilities, all which the city considers "hard-to-reach."

Bo Chilton, the CEO of IMPACT Community Action, which has provided rental assistance during the pandemic, said the organization still has $50 million to distribute.

He added that with the eviction moratorium ending earlier this month, they welcome the city's support and funding for IMPACT's partner organizations that help those populations the city considers vulnerable.

"There is no reason that anyone has to be evicted, especially at this point in our pandemic wave when we're expecting that fourth wave," Chilton said.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the pandemic has shown inequitable outcomes for families, including health, safety and economic instability.

"We know that housing stability is absolutely critical to our city's equity agenda and as we prepare and execute a dynamic, inclusive recovery," he said.

Columbus city council member Shayla Favor said the funding will not only help tenants, but also small landlords, who can contact any of the 20 plus organizations receiving additional money.

"This pandemic has been extremely hard on our landlord community, especially those smaller landlords that depend on rental income to make their own finances whole," she said.

The funds announced Tuesday are in addition to the $26 million in federal rental assistance the city received and distributed since the COVID pandemic began.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.