WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a $1,000,000 grant to Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in Toledo. ABLE will partner with Legal Aid of Western Ohio (LAWO) to expand an eviction prevention program into rural areas of the seven counties surrounding them. This funding will help ABLE and LAWO provide legal representation in eviction actions, advocacy for tenant protections in local policies and programs, coordination with rental assistance funds, legal education and information for renters, and access to mediation for renters when available.
“Losing a home to foreclosure or eviction turns a family’s life upside down – no one should be left without a home, especially during a pandemic” said Sen. Brown. “This funding is vital to helping protect residents from evictions – especially for Black and brown homeowners and renters who have been hardest hit by this pandemic.”
“ABLE is grateful for the opportunity to expand eviction prevention services to more people living in poverty. They have legal rights and need access to legal representation,” said ABLE Executive Director Janet Hales. “We can help people who have nowhere else to turn achieve fairness and justice in a complex legal process where most landlords have attorneys.”
HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program is designed to support experienced legal service providers in providing legal assistance at no cost to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research is making grant funds available to non-profit or governmental entities to provide services in areas with high rates of evictions or prospective evictions, including rural areas. This program plays an integral role in helping individuals and families, including people of color who are disproportionately affected by eviction, people with limited English proficiency, and people with disabilities avoid eviction and minimize the damage caused by the eviction process.