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Hamilton Co. residents can apply for rent and utility assistance again starting Monday

Hamilton County Commissioners
Becca Costello
From left: Hamilton County Commissioners Clerk Leslie Hervey, Commission VP Alicia Reece, Commission President Stephanie Summerow Dumas, Commissioner Denise Driehaus, and County Administrator Jeff Aluotto.

A program started to help Hamilton County residents with rent and utility bills during the pandemic is coming back.

That effort has been paused since July, but starting Monday, those seeking assistance can go to 513relief.org to apply for a portion of the more than $12 million in federal funds commissioners have allocated toward the initiative. Applicants will need their past-due rent or utility bills, income verification for the past month, a statement about how the pandemic has negatively impacted them financially and registration by their landlord, who will receive the funds directly.

Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece says the need is still strong for emergency assistance.

"While the news is not focused on COVID like it was before, people are still hurting, and people are still struggling," she said.

Commissioner Denise Driehaus says the new funding could help between 3,000 and 3,500 people. A person making $47,850 a year or less qualifies for the assistance. Families of two making less than $54,650 a year, families of three making less than $61,500 a year and families of four making less than $68,300 a year qualify as well.

Prior to its hiatus, the program helped an estimated 12,000 households. Officials say an application for another $36 million in federal funds is pending.

Nick Swartsell is a general assignment reporter for WVXU. Before his current role, he worked on the station’s Cincinnati Edition program as assistant producer and was a journalist for outlets in Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., and Texas prior to that. When he’s not reporting, he likes exploring places he probably shouldn’t on his bike, taking photos, and growing corn, tomatoes and peppers that are, in all honesty, much too hot for any practical use. He is from Hamilton. You can find him at @nswartsell on Twitter.