BATAVIA, Ohio — As families continue to struggle to make ends meet due to the pandemic and inflation, more people are qualifying for emergency rent funding.
Clermont County promoted its program Monday. The county can step in and pay up to 12 months past-due rent and utility bills. That includes gas, electric, fuel oil, trash removal and water and sewer. Plus, residents can received three months of future rent payments.
To qualify, residents have to earn 85% of the area median income. That would be about $41,097 a year for one person.
When the pandemic started, counties helped families struggling to pay rent and utilities due to the illness. However, there is a second program under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. In that case, people can qualify if they experience financial hardship during the pandemic. That program runs through September 2025.
Clermont County Community Services will determine which funding source they draw from once they have all the information from the applicant.
"We've tried to reach out to the landlords, to the utility providers, to the court system so that people know that if someone is facing eviction that this help is out there," said Billie Kuntz, executive director of Clermont County Community Services.
Landlords can apply on behalf of the renter with their consent.
“Absolutely,” Kuntz said. “They have bills to pay, too — and mortgages and all of that. So, this isn't just helping the tenant, it's helping the community as a whole.”
Clermont County residents may apply by emailing support@CCCSI.org and requesting an application.