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Ohio REALTORS voice support for emergency rental assistance measure

Mar 16, 2021

By Beth Wanless, Ohio REALTORS Director of Government Affairs 

Ohio REALTORS testified in support of Senate Bill 110, which seeks to make a $465 million appropriation to the Development Services Agency to fund an emergency rental and utility assistance program.

The measure, sponsored by Senators Sandra O’Brien (R-District 32) and Steve Wilson (R-District 7), is currently being considered by the Senate Finance Committee.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought financial devastation to many across the state. Many Ohioans found themselves unable to pay rent or cover utility payments due to unemployment or underemployment as businesses shuttered," said Ohio REALTORS Chief Executive Officer Scott Williams. "Housing providers have worked with their tenants who are unable to cover rent to make arrangements for deferred or partial rent payments, or other agreements.

"But a housing owner still must continue to pay many financial obligations such as insurance, mortgage payments, maintenance, and janitorial staff. When tenants cannot pay rent, especially for several months at a time, the effect is widespread and deep," Williams continued. "SB 110's $465 million in funding to help renters across the state is critical as Ohioans recover from the devastation that COVID has caused over the past year."

Ohio REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS have been actively advocating for emergency rental assistance due to COVID-related financial hardship for nearly a year. We appreciate the influx of funding at both the state and federal levels to help Ohioans cover rent and utility liabilities that have been paid directly to housing providers to continue meeting their housing needs. Additionally, quick passage of SB 110 would ensure funds are expeditiously distributed to communities that have immediate needs for more rent and utility assistance.

Formed in 1910, Ohio REALTORS is Ohio’s largest professional trade organization with more than 35,000 members. Ohio REALTORS is the major champion of private property rights and homeownership in Ohio. Our members serve the residential, commercial and industrial markets through sales, property management, investment and development.

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