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Council Continues to Fund Program to Help Families Facing Eviction

Apr 18, 2024

Council recently approved providing an additional $750,000 to United Way of Greater Cleveland for the "Right to Counsel" program that helps families facing eviction.

In 2019, Council passed the Right to Counsel ordinance with a recognition that "a lack of legal counsel for low-income tenants with minor children during eviction is a violation of a basic human right." 

Council established this program, at the time one of the first in the country, Since then Council has helped to fund the program. The allocated American Rescue Plan Act funding and in the most recent city budget increased the amount going for the initiative from $500,000 to $750,000.

Prior to the launch of Right to Counsel, Housing Court data indicated that only 1%-2% of all tenants were represented by an attorney in eviction proceedings in Cleveland. A review of the new program found that about 79% of all eligible Cleveland households facing eviction were represented by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

When tenants receive full legal representation in eviction cases, which landlords typically have, the tenants are more likely to either stay in their homes and save on rent or fees or chose to move out without having an eviction on their record, which can hamper their future renting abilities. Having legal representation results in better outcomes.

To qualify for help, contact Legal Aid immediately if you receive an eviction notice at 216-861-5835. If you did not hear about the eviction before the court date, you can ask the Cleveland Housing Court at your hearing that you would like a lawyer assigned to you. 

For more information go here. Help with housing needs is also available.