According to a recent study by the Community Building Institute, there is a 40,000-unit shortage of affordable housing for extremely low-income households in Hamilton County (those whose incomes are below $14,678). Many of these low-income households spend significantly more on housing than what is considered affordable (30% or less of gross income), making it difficult to pay for other essential expenses. And more than 7,500 households in Cincinnati and Hamilton County experience some form of homelessness. HSC is looking at a variety of issues affecting the availability of affordable housing, including:
- Emergency assistance/eviction prevention;
- The City of Cincinnati’s new affordable housing trust fund, and identifying additional funding sources for that fund.
Families in Hamilton County are experiencing evictions at an alarming rate. Over 6,000 evictions were filed through Hamilton County courts in 2017. Once evicted, families are more likely to fall into poverty. Evicted persons are more likely to lose their jobs, and with an eviction on their record, finding alternate quality housing can be difficult. Many lose their household possessions, become ineligible for public housing benefits, lose their community ties, and some even become homeless. The impact of eviction on children can be particularly acute, uprooting them from their schools and negatively affecting their school achievement and health.
Eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty. The good news is that local governments can enact policies to prevent families from being evicted and falling into poverty. To learn about HSC’s eviction prevention recommendations, see the infographic below and read our white paper here.