New Program Aimed at Decreasing Evictions in Lucas County
AUG. 7, 2013—Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo announces the start of a new program, Tenant Readiness, aimed at decreasing evictions in Lucas County.
After providing emergency rent and mortgage assistance for nine years, Catholic Charities has designed a program that will take a proactive approach to help individuals and families remain in their homes. The agency will partner with local landlords and their rental applicants to help applicants be prepared for the financial responsibilities of renting. Tenants who participate in the program will complete an individual stability assessment and attend a workshop covering topics such as savings, budgeting, emergency plans and debt/income ratio. Catholic Charities staff will continue to work with the tenants for one year to ensure applicants are successful in their lease arrangement. Participants will receive a Tenant Readiness certification card from Catholic Charities that will enable applicants to show landlords their progress in the program.
Last year, Catholic Charities received 1,085 calls for emergency housing assistance but was only able to help 145 clients with available government funding. In recent years, a growing number of clients have called during the first three months of their lease, indicating they may not have had sufficient income or have been prepared for financial setbacks prior to signing their lease. The new program is designed to help tenants avoid entering into rental agreements they do not have sufficient resources to maintain and to provide them with the tools to maintain housing stability in the event of a financial setback.
Funding for the program is being provided through a two-year, $41,765 grant from the Toledo Community Foundation. The Toledo Real Estate Investors Association is also partnering with Catholic Charities and has assisted with planning for the program. Additional supporters include Fair Housing, the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board and the City of Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods.
Catholic Charities is hosting an orientation for Lucas County landlords Friday, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Diocese of Toledo’s Catholic Center at 1933 Spielbusch Ave., Toledo, OH. To register, please contact Brian Rome at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-244-6711, ext. 222.