Right to Counsel/Free Eviction Help
Improving housing stability for Greater Cleveland
Housing instability, often caused by eviction, is a root cause of ongoing poverty in Greater Cleveland.
A 2019 study by Case Western Reserve University of evictions in Cleveland found that in eviction filings, “the average age of head of household is 37, and in 60% of cases, households have children under the age of 18 at the time of the filing. Among those that have children, the average number of children per household is 2.1. In most cases the head of household is a woman (78%) and African American (77%).”
For those who suffer from generational poverty, housing instability can wreak havoc in other areas of a family’s life:
Right To Counsel Annual Report
Review the Right to Counsel Annual Report prepared by United Way of Greater Cleveland in cooperation with The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland for Cleveland City Council and courtesy report to Cleveland Mayor’s Office.
In 2019, Cleveland City Council passed legislation making an attorney in eviction cases a right for low-income families renting in Cleveland. To put the law into practice, Right to Counsel launched on July 1, 2020.
As a partnership among United Way of Greater Cleveland, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and CHN Housing Partners, Right to Counsel provides free legal representation and rental assistance to tenants whose income is at or below the federal poverty guideline and have at least one child in their household.
In the first six months of Right to Counsel’s operation, 93% of tenants at risk of eviction and represented in Cleveland Housing Court by a Legal Aid attorney avoided an eviction or involuntary move.
Free Eviction Help launched on July 1, 2021, and expanded outreach and services to Cuyahoga County residents needing legal counsel while facing eviction.
United Way of Greater Cleveland is funding four Community Hub grants that are tackling issues related to housing stability. Learn more about the nonprofits and their programs: