September 2020 Newsletter

Federal Eviction Moratorium

On September 4, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that created a moratorium on most residential evictions due to non-payment of rent until January 2021. The purpose of the order is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through homeless shelters and other congregate living settings that would have occurred if millions of households were evicted in the coming months.

The moratorium covers nearly all low-income renters. To be eligible, the tenant:

  • must have made best efforts to obtain government-funded rental assistance;
  • must earn less than $99,000 ($198,000 for joint filers), was not required to file an income tax return for 2019, or received a CARES Act stimulus payment;
  • must be unable to pay rent due to a substantial loss of income;
  • is using best efforts to make rent payments; and
  • will likely become homeless or doubled-up as a result of the eviction.

Tenants are still responsible for unpaid rent and any associated fees or fines.

A national moratorium is long overdue and will assure people that they will not lose their homes during the pandemic. While the eviction moratorium is essential, the action only delays evictions and does not prevent them.

Governor Mike DeWine and members of Congress need to act and commit resources to emergency rental assistance. We ask Governor DeWine to commit $100 million of unspent Coronavirus Relief Funds to prevent evictions while waiting for Congress to act. We support the national campaign asking Congress to commit $100 billion for rental assistance and eviction prevention.

Unemployment Compensation

The Alliance of Ohio Legal Aids, of which OPLC is a member, launched its first statewide media campaign in an effort to draw attention to issues related to the unemployment compensation system. Too many Ohioans are still waiting for benefits that they are due.

The effort, which began Thursday, September 3, included press outreach and a coordinated social media campaign. Alliance members issued press releases detailing the problems and how they can help. They shared social media posts with the hashtag #LOSTINTHESYSTEM highlighting successful client stories. The social media effort, which was designed to coincide with the Labor Day holiday, will last one week.

Ohioans will see some additional Unemployment Compensation relief in the coming weeks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved Ohio’s application for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program established by President Trump’s executive order. The program will allow Ohio to provide $300 per week to those unemployed due to COVID. This is in addition to any regular unemployment compensation benefits. Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services expects the program to be up and running mid-September.

Register to Vote

To vote in the upcoming November 3, 2020, General Election, you must register by October 5, 2020.

To register online you will need to provide the following:

  • Ohio driver’s license or Ohio identification card number
  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number

If you do not have any portion of the required information, you will need to use a paper form. To register or access the paper form, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s office at https://olvr.ohiosos.gov/.