CINCINNATI — It’s not the first time runners have gathered at International Friendship Park for the annual 5-K for Rent, but this year, the steps could have a bigger impact.
The event took place the same day federal protections expired against renters, and some could be evicted in days.
Jeff March is president of Apartment Association Outreach, the organization that hosted the race. He said the 5-K raised $50,000 for community partners.
“With the eviction moratorium, obviously housing stability is very, very important to all of us,” March said. “So the fact that we can have this rental assistance and share the money with our partners is vitally important to get assistance to people who need it.”
At the end of March, 6.4 million renter households were behind on their rent, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A Census Bureau survey indicates 3.6 million people would likely have to leave their homes in the next two months due to eviction.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development set aside millions of dollars for rent assistance across the country, but only a fraction of that has been given out to people.
Jennifer Messerschmidt-Warther participated in the race with PLK Communities, a real estate management company in Kenwood.
“The work that they do definitely has helped to support people who have gone through those crises throughout COVID,” she said.
The money raised at the 5-K will go toward four social service organizations in the Tri-State: Freestore Foodbank, Churches Active in Northside, Jewish Family Service and Santa Maria Community Services.
Those struggling to pay rent in Hamilton County can apply for up to 12 months in past-due rent and utilities costs, and/or up to three months of future costs.
Tenants who are at risk of eviction can apply for assistance by visiting 513relief.org or by calling 513-946-1000.