City of Toledo COVID-19 Emergency Renter Assistance Fund, Outdoor Restaurant Seating, and Summer Parks Programming Announced
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced the creation of the City of Toledo COVID-19 Emergency Renter Assistance Fund during a virtual news conference held today with Toledo City Council.
“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented job loss and income reduction to low- and moderate-income families in Toledo,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “Inability to pay rent threatens housing stability for all tenants and the continued financial viability of Toledo’s affordable housing. To address this challenge, the city is dedicating $1 million from the COVID-19 Community Development Block Grant funding and another $1 million from the COVID-19 Emergency Solutions Grant funding to establish the City of Toledo COVID-19 Emergency Renter Assistance Fund.”
The Emergency Renter Assistance Fund (ERAF) program will help provide stable housing for the most vulnerable Toledo families during this global crisis, the mayor said.
The ERAF will assist approximately 700 income-eligible households with three months maximum of emergency rental assistance, which will take the form of payments directly to landlords. The payments may cover rent, past due rent, late fees, new renter fees, security deposits, utility deposits, and moving costs. Only one application per unit is eligible. Applicants must be the named tenant. Multifamily units, duplexes, and single-family residential units rented, owned, and operated by an individual or corporate landlord are eligible.
The ERAF will provide rental assistance up to $2,500 during a consecutive three-month period. During the period of approved rental assistance, beneficiaries will be encouraged to meet with a financial opportunity center coach.
The city has partnered with NeighborWorks Toledo and Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio to operate the program. The organizations will accept ERAF applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
Existing Toledo tenants requiring rental assistance, and help with rental arrears, should contact NeighborWorks Toledo, 704 Second St., Toledo, Ohio 43605, 419-691-2900, www.nwtoledo.org.
Unhoused or homeless Toledoans seeking to transition to rentals, or to prevent from moving into a shelter, should contact Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio, 2149 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo, Ohio 43620, 419-243-9178, www.lssnwo.org.
Eligible program participants must:
- Rent a house or an apartment in the city of Toledo. This requirement does not apply to homeless individuals.
- Demonstrate lost income due to COVID-19, such as paystubs, letter of layoff or termination, records of unemployment, or bank statements.
- Have a maximum household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) adjusted for household size. To calculate what percent of the area median income a tenant’s income is, take the household’s income and divide it by the 100 percent AMI income for a household of the same size.
Participant documentation requirements include:
- A completed ERAF application.
- A letter from the landlord stating delinquent amount. This requirement does not apply to homeless individuals.
- Proof of income of all household members 18-years-old and older.
- Valid identification.
- Documentation of loss of job or income due to COVID-19.
- Completion of a housing conditions survey by program-participating tenant. (Required for lead remediation grant assistance referral.)
Landlord requirements include:
- Property must be registered with the Lucas County Auditor as a rental property. (One week will be provided to the landlord to register the property. http://co.lucas.oh.us/FormCenter/Auditor-5/RENTAL-PROPERTY-REGISTRATION-183)
- Be current on Lucas County real estate taxes or on a payment plan.
- Agree to accept up to three months of ERAF payments.
- Provide current federal W-9 information form.
- Agree not to pursue evictions while receiving ERAF payments.
- Dismiss any pending evictions with proof prior to release of ERAF funds.
More information can be found at https://toledo.oh.gov/renters.
Mayor Kapszukiewicz also announced today that a number of city streets will be closed beginning in early June to vehicular traffic so restaurants can expand their seated table space into the public-right-of way and also that the city’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division will sponsor a series of youth programming this summer through a partnership with Athletes Global, an organization dedicated to helping youth, families, and communities worldwide.
“The exact locations for street closures are being determined, but this will apply to areas that are in the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area and the Village on Adams Outdoor Refreshment Area,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said.
Additionally, per the order the Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner, the outdoor refreshment areas’ hours will be expanded to noon to 12 a.m.
The mayor also said that the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control has agreed to temporarily expand liquor permits into tents and other temporary structures.
“We are doing everything we can to assist as many businesses as possible,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “We are asking everyone to be safe, which includes mandating that guests be served sitting at the bar or at a table. Live music, bands, and DJs are permitted but performers are required to be socially distanced from one another, as well as the guests. Dancing is not permitted statewide.”
Use of the sidewalks and expanded areas outside of indoor building spaces are encouraged to be used. No permit will be required.
Regarding the summer youth programming series, the events will be posted at this link: https://toledo.oh.gov/services/public-service/parks-recreation-forestry/. They include yoga, self-defense, and Zumba classes.
In partnership with Children’s Theater Workshop, the city will provide a “drive-in theater” type experience for young residents this summer. Actors will perform a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at three separate parks. Families will be invited to drive-in, and choose to stay in their cars and listen to the audio via a transmitter to their car radio, or step outside and spread a blanket in one of numerous pre-drawn circles that indicate an appropriate physical distancing of at least six feet.
Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division will also continue and expand “Movie in the Park” nights this summer to six events.
The virtual news conference was streamed live on the city’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/cityoftoledo. A recording can be downloaded until June 4, 2020 at this link:
The city of Toledo has compiled a list of services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and available resources, which can be found at this link: https://toledo.oh.gov/news/update-from-the-city-of-toledo-mayor/.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.LucasCountyHealth.com. The Lucas County Community COVID-19 call line numbers are 419-251-4000 (English only) and 419-291-5355 (multilingual). The public is asked to refrain from calling 911 unless it is a true emergency. Call 419-213-4161, press 4, and leave a message to report COVID-19 related matters. The Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 website is www.Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov and the Ohio Department of Health hotline is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).