(The Center Square) – Ohio lawmakers, along with Gov. Mike DeWine, continue to work on a statewide aid package that could provide relief to renters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
DeWine eluded to possible relief earlier this week in his regular COVID-19 news conference.
DeWine said the plan would include using CARES Act funding to help people struggling to pay their rent, mortgage or water and sewer utility bills. It would also focus on providing aid to small businesses and non-profits.
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof said the plan would continue to help small businesses across the state.
“President Trump’s paycheck protection plan saved tens of thousands of businesses across Ohio, and we believe this new state initiative will add to that by providing relief to small businesses in need,” Obhof said. “We have worked hard to come up with a plan that works for Ohio businesses and saves Ohio jobs, and we look forward to rolling that out shortly.”
In early September, the Centers for Disease Control issued a wide-ranging eviction moratorium, covering tenants, leases and residents of multi-unit and single-family residential properties who meet certain criteria.
That order put even greater stress on landlords.
“We will also be setting out a plan to provide rent or mortgage assistance to those most in need,” Obhof said. “ Senator [Matt] Dolan spearheaded our efforts and he has done a great job working through these issues.”
Renters and landlords have been of particular concern in several states as the stay-at-home orders and business closings have created economic hardships for individuals, business owners, large companies and governments across the country.
In Virginia, a bill is nearly ready for passage that would require landlords to establish payment plans for tenants before they could be evicted. At the same time, tenants would have to pay their past-due rent over a period of time.
Kentucky is using part of its CARES Act funding to help landlords be reimbursed for missed rent payments and for tenants to pay a substantial portion of past-due and future rent.
An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.