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ABLE receives large HUD grant to help tenants at risk of eviction

A stock photo of a wooden judge's gavel on top of an eviction notice. Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. is receiving a large grant to help at-risk tenants facing eviction in rural Ohio communities.
ABLE, Inc. is planning on using federal funds to launch a pilot project focused on helping at-risk tenants in seven rural counties in Western Ohio. The project includes free legal representation, a tenant hotline and hosted educational clinics.

The nonprofit Advocates for Basic Legal Equality is one of ten organizations across the country receiving a major grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The $1 million dollar award will be used to help prevent evictions in western Ohio. ABLE will offer legal representation to at-risk renters, in addition to hosting educational clinics and connecting renters to assistance funds.

Heather Hall is ABLE’s Director of Advocacy, and helped write the grant application. She says ABLE is focusing their efforts on seven low-income, rural counties in Ohio. Those counties are Allen, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Logan, Miami and Mercer counties.

“We identified those because they all have families with the majority household income under $35,000,” Hall said. “And most of the time, what we've seen is there hasn't been the same or as many resources available in those communities, as have been available in urban areas.”

ABLE, Inc.

They also plan to launch a tenant hotline, where callers can ask for more information about their legal rights.

“Studies also show that when tenants are represented, their likelihood of remaining housed and of landlords, you know, receiving rent payments is, you know, drastically increased,” Hall said.

Hall says they hope to make some hires early next year to help carry out their project.

Mawa Iqbal is a reporter for WYSO. Before coming to WYSO, she interned at Kansas City PBS's digital magazine, Flatland. There, her reporting focused on higher education and immigrant communities in the Kansas City area. She studied radio journalism at Mizzou, where she also worked for their local NPR-affiliate station as a reporter.