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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Hamilton County Using CARES Act Funds To Assist Renters

Bill Rinehart

Hamilton County commissioners are using $3.5 million of federal CARES Act funding to assist people with their rent and utility payments. 

Commission President Denise Driehaus spoke about the program Wednesday during a press conference.

"Under the program, the county will pay up to three month's rent and utility payments, with a maximum of $2,500 for households at or below 80% of the area median income," Driehaus said.

For a one-person household that income level is $48,350. For a household of four, it's $69,050. 

The program should be able to assist 1,200 renting households.

Talbert House, the Freestore Foodbank and the Community Action Agency will be responsible for distributing the funds. 

Jimmy Wilson is with Talbert House, and he said it may open the door for other assistance.

"If families are in need of additional services, we'll be able to make those linkages as well - managing stress; perhaps issues with substance use; job readiness employment; or maybe even housing types of challenges," Wilson said. "So, we have an array of services that we can make available."

Those providers will also work with landlords to ensure that the renters will not be evicted for non-payment.

"With a moratorium on evictions for renters living in publicly owned housing being lifted this week, and Duke Energy possibly lifting their moratorium sometime in August, additional funds for unemployment benefits set to expire soon, this money came just at the right time," said Kim McClendon with the Community Action Agency.

For information people seeking assistance can use the following contacts:

  • Talbert House: 513-338-8596
  • Community Action Agency: 513-569-1840 Option #4
  • Freestore Foodbank: 513-357-4687