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With Eviction Ban Lifted, Landsman, Pureval Introduce Measures To Halt Process

Cory Sharber
City and county leaders discussed the eviction measure proposals in front of Cincinnati City Hall April 9, 2021.

Cincinnati City Council could vote Wednesday on two eviction measure proposals submitted in the wake of Hamilton County Municipal Court's decision to lift the national eviction moratorium.

The measures come in the form of two ordinances that aim to ensure landlords and tenants have time to utilize roughly $60 million in rental assistance funding Hamilton County is expected to receive.

The first measure, a "pay to stay" ordinance, would prevent landlords from evicting tenants if they have the ability to pay rent plus late fees by the time of their eviction hearing. The second measure would be a temporary moratorium to evictions for non-payment in the city of Cincinnati, which would expire when Governor Mike DeWine's emergency declaration is lifted.

Councilman Greg Landsman says rental assistance funds would go to landlords and they would have to work with tenants to resolve the financial issues.

"We need time, extra time, to ensure that we can process these payments, make landlords whole, and avoid the eviction," Landsman said.

Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval says the new money coming in for eviction aid has few requirements for those seeking help.

"It provides for up to 12 months of back rent plus three months of future rent and utilities, so it's a pretty large window," Pureval said.

Hamilton County Municipal Court announced last week that the CDC moratorium was no longer valid, which allowed for evictions in the county to start back up. However, the CDC had previously extended the moratorium until June.

The court's decision came days after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the CDC eviction moratorium in a case out of Tennessee, saying that the order to pause evictions exceeded the CDC's authority. In March, a federal judge in Ohio made a similar ruling.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.