The Human Services Chamber board has approved a set of eviction prevention recommendations that were developed by its Affordable Housing committee over the past several months. These recommendations come in the wake of new research showing that families in our community are experiencing evictions at an alarming rate. In Hamilton County, over 6,000 evictions were filed through the courts in 2017. These are 6,000 families that once evicted are more likely to fall into poverty due to a job loss and difficulty finding quality housing with an eviction on their records.
HSC believes that these recommended eviction prevention policies, along with significant investment in affordable housing, are essential to curbing poverty in our community. The first recommendation is the establishment of a two-year pilot program that provides one-time emergency financial assistance to help tenants pay their rent and/or utility bills. This initiative would create an eviction assistance hotline that tenants facing eviction can call to seek help. We also recommend providing funding for legal counsel to represent tenants with eviction proceedings in court. While 88% of Hamilton County landlords have legal counsel in eviction proceedings, only 2.5% of tenants do. Tenants are more likely to avoid eviction when they have legal counsel. Over the coming months, we will discuss these recommendations with policymakers in Hamilton County and continue to spread the word about the problem of evictions in our community.