CINCINNATI — As the federal eviction moratorium comes to an end Saturday, many landlords are choosing to sell their properties so they don't have to deal with the hassle.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set aside millions of dollars for rent assistance across the country, but only a fraction of that has been given out to people.
"Our area has been awarded $47 million to help housing and to help families in need for their rental payments," Deborah Collins, a member of the Real Estate Investors Association of Greater Cincinnati, said. "Unfortunately, that has been slow to get distributed.”
The process is so slow that people who apply for assistance sometimes wait for weeks, only to be denied without explanation. Because of that, many landlords sell their homes in a hot housing market.
"It's definitely a hot real estate market for single-family homes in Cincinnati," Nick Dinardo, the managing attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, said. "It's also a hot real estate market for purchasing rental properties, you know, as kind of investment properties. We've seen a lot of out-of-town owners purchasing Cincinnati property.”
"We have one member who has actually had over 20 percent of the units he managed be sold over the past year because the investors have decided this is not what we want to do anymore,” Collins said.
Sometimes local property owners sell to out-of-town investors, and this changes the dynamic of the affordable housing market for years to come.
"We really feel like the community leaders, the politicians, we’d like to see their focus shift to how to distribute this money as quickly as possible," Collins said.