Legal Aid and United Way Grow Free Eviction Help in Cuyahoga County

JULY 1, 2021 (CLEVELAND, OH) – Today Legal Aid and United Way formally launch Free Eviction Help – expanding outreach and services for people who need legal counsel while facing eviction.  This comes on the one-year anniversary of the launch of Right to Counsel in Cleveland Housing Court.

The effort will not only increase access to help for low-income Cuyahoga County residents to legal counsel when housing is at risk, but will also provide critical legal information for the community at www.FreeEvictionHelp.org.

Cleveland’s Right to Counsel is a limited right; it only provides free legal representation to people with children in the home, and households must be extremely low income (100% of poverty and below) to qualify.  There is no right to counsel for (1) Cleveland residents above 100% of the FPG; (2) Cleveland residents with no children in the home; and (3) non-Cleveland residents.

Cuyahoga County took notice of this, and provided $1 million of funds from the U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program. With this funding, Legal Aid and United Way worked together on outreach for “Free Eviction Help” – an expansion of legal help for tenants facing eviction. Since the County announced the funding, in early spring 2021, Legal Aid and United Way scaled up some of the elements of Right to Counsel Cleveland so more people in Cuyahoga County can be served.

Additionally, Legal Aid and United Way provide all local courts with outreach materials and technical assistance to assist more individuals who request legal counsel at their eviction hearings.

Beyond giving legal assistance to more people facing housing crises in Northeast Ohio, this County funding will ensure important rent assistance funds are used right here in the region – making our local landlords whole, and ensuring communities can stabilize and grow.

Those who need help can visit www.FreeEvictionHelp.org or call Legal Aid directly at 216-861-5835.

Contacts:

Melanie A. Shakarian, Esq. melanie.shakarian@lasclev.org (216) 215-0074

Katie Connell kconnell@unitedwaycleveland.org (404) 895-5513

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