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Doors to Economic Recovery Not Yet Open for OH Renters

May 4, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - As Ohio climbs out of the recession, new research finds the door to recovery is not yet open for renters.

The report finds that more than half of renters in Ohio don't earn enough money to afford the cost of a basic two-bedroom apartment.

Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, says the foreclosure crisis, in its 16th year, continues to push troubled homeowners and tenants out of stable housing environments, which means greater demand and higher prices for rental housing.

"There's many people that are struggling to afford their rent, and that's at a time when we see increases in many other basic costs of living - such as increases in food prices, increases in gas prices, increases in utility costs."

The typical renter in Ohio earns an hourly wage of $10.76, Faith says, at the same time it takes at least $2 more per hour to afford a modest apartment.

Gov. John Kasich's proposed budget maintains -- but does not increase -- funding for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, the money used to provide affordable housing and housing-related services. While the state works to rebuild the economy, Faith says, it must also do more to help with the basic housing needs of a growing number of Ohioans who are barely getting by.

"Most of the people that are assisted today with affordable housing are senior citizens, people with disabilities, low-income families with children. We're really having a negative impact on very vulnerable Ohioans."

Faith says he's also concerned about proposals in the federal budget that would cut housing programs by about 12 percent.

The "Out of Reach 2011" report, compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, is online at www.nlihc.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH