ACTION NOW: Eviction Freeze for Columbus, OH

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Ohio is in the midst of a public health crisis, which will exponentially compound the housing crisis here in Franklin County. The Ohio Department of Health grimly reported on March 12 that over 100,000 Ohioans likely carry the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. That number will potentially double every six days.

In Franklin County, where nearly one in six people live in poverty, the public health threat posed by COVID-19 also represents a dire economic threat. Without paid sick leave or job protections, many thousands of people in central Ohio — and throughout the state — must choose between protecting the health of their families, neighbors, and themselves or preserving their livelihoods. When working people are forced to take unpaid leave or lose their job by staying home, the loss of income is devastating. This economic impact can easily lead to eviction and utility shut-off. 

Eviction and homelessness dramatically worsen the impact of COVID-19. While Governor DeWine has declared a state of emergency, acted quickly to shut down public events, and encouraged social distancing, Columbus and the state of Ohio must act now to ensure that no Ohioan faces residential displacement as a result of this public health crisis. We call upon the Columbus Mayor, City Council, and Sheriff Baldwin to immediately freeze rents and institute a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs.