United Way of Greater Cincinnati Joins New Initiative to Prevent Non-Payment Eviction for Hundreds of Cincinnati Public Housing Tenants

The Renew Collaborative is known as one of the most effective eviction prevention programs in the country and is coming to Hamilton County to prevent non-payment evictions among Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority tenants.
October 17, 2022
Cincinnati City Leaders announce partnership for better housing relief
(L to R): Gregory D. Johnson (CEO, CMHA); Clare Zlatic Blankemeyer (Executive Director, GreenLight Fund); Aftab Pureval (Cincinnati Mayor); Lashonda Raines (Community Consultant); Kelly Mulligan (Chief Program Officer, Homestart); Maggie Howard (HomeStart); Moira Weir (President/CEO, United Way of Greater Cincinnati); Pavan Parikh (Hamilton County Clerk of Courts)
(John Johnston / United Way of Greater Cincinnati, 2022)


Tamara Thrasher, GreenLight Fund Cincinnati

Matt Pritchard, HomeStart



CINCINNATI (October 17, 2022) — GreenLight Cincinnati is leading a partnership to bring a proven initiative to Hamilton County to prevent non-payment eviction when unexpected life circumstances threaten the housing stability of families. The Renew Collaborative will expand the capacity of the Care Coordination team at United Way of Greater Cincinnati to keep families housed at Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority. The Renew Collaborative will help tenants facing eviction develop a financial blueprint that identifies the driver of back-rent while also paying back a portion of the debt to the property provider.

The program is slated to begin later in 2022.

Non-payment is the most common cause of eviction in Hamilton County causing trauma, interrupted employment and impacting children’s learning, health and mental health. Before the pandemic, the local eviction filing rate was higher than the national average and is steadily rising back to pre-pandemic levels due in part to Federal COVID emergency rental assistance ending.

The Renew Collaborative was created by Massachusetts-based HomeStart because the cost of a property owner executing a non-payment eviction is three to five times more costly than the expense of stopping the eviction and keeping the tenant housed. The cost-benefit of eviction prevention is so compelling that property owners can save money by financially supporting the Renew Collaborative eviction prevention program. The cost savings have been calculated at over $16M to property owners since 2008 in other cities. Renew Collaborative is expanding nationwide with Cincinnati as an important expansion region.

“Evictions are a stain on a tenant’s record that is nearly impossible to erase, even if a tenant made good on the obligations. Supporting the expansion of HomeStart’s Renew Collaborative was simple because it addresses the needs of the tenants and the needs of the property owners. HomeStart will build an economically sustainable and scalable initiative to keep more Hamilton County families housed,” said Pavan Parikh, Clerk of Courts for Hamilton County, which operates the Help Center for Hamilton County Municipal Court.

Matt Pritchard, HomeStart’s Executive Director, shared, “Hamilton County’s non-profit, business, government, health care and community leaders want to bring an end to the non-payment eviction crisis, creating an extraordinary opportunity to bring Renew Collaborative to the region, Ohio, and beyond. HomeStart’s success has shown we can improve the lives of families in the most precarious situations.”

Leadership at Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) agrees. “Evictions are expensive for the CMHA to execute and they have a traumatic impact on our residents, our staff, and our entire community. CMHA believes that there is outstanding potential to keep a large number of families housed who would otherwise unnecessarily experience homelessness by way of non-payment eviction,” said Gregory Johnson, CEO.

In the next four years, the Renew Collaborative will scale up to preserve tenancies in 300 households in CMHA while also exploring expansion with other large-scale property owners. It is anticipated that a minimum of 90% of families will retain their housing after three years due to Renew Collaborative’s ongoing support services for renters who faced eviction. Abt Associates will be assessing the Renew Collaborative’s impact in stabilizing families and reporting these findings back to the community.

The Renew Collaborative eviction prevention manager will operate out of United Way of Greater Cincinnati. United Way of Greater Cincinnati CEO Moira Weir is committed to being bold in tackling the challenge of economic well-being.” As families across our community continue to struggle and experience hardship, we are proud to work with cross-sector partners to implement the HomeStart Renew Collaborative as a critical expansion of our Care Coordination team. Housing First is one of our six focus areas and we are committed to working with CMHA to support residents as they stabilize rent so more families thrive.”

HomeStart Renew Collaborative is funded by GreenLight Fund Cincinnati and Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee.

About United Way of Greater Cincinnati

With its dedicated donors, staff and partners, United Way of Greater Cincinnati brings new voices and solutions to decades-old challenges so more families in our community thrive.

As the community catalyst, UWGC drives change through investments, influence and filling gaps in services to create lasting change for families today and for future generations.

UWGC does this by focusing on six investment portfolios: Housing First, NextGen Success, Equitable Economic Mobility, Improved Prevention/Stronger Communities, Ready Kids/Resilient Families and Responding to Community Needs.

Learn more about UWGC’s work underway in nine counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and how you can be part of our collective community impact at UWGC.org. #LiveUnited

About GreenLight Fund

GreenLight Fund is a national nonprofit with a local focus that partners with communities to create opportunities for inclusive prosperity. The organization, in each of its sites, facilitates a community-driven process that matches local needs of individuals and families not met by existing programs, to organizations with track records of success elsewhere. Working with communities, GreenLight identifies, invites in and launches proven organizations, providing collaborative support so they can quickly take root and deliver measurable social impact. Started in Boston in 2004, the nonprofit venture philanthropy organization launched GreenLight Cincinnati in 2016. GreenLight Cincinnati has supported the expansion of four prior portfolio organizations: Center for Employment Opportunities, UpTogether (formerly Family Independence Initiative), First Place for Youth’s My First Place program at NewPath, and The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship. GreenLight cities include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Greater Newark, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Twin Cities. 

For more information, please visit www.greenlightfund.org/cincinnati

About HomeStart

HomeStart is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness by assisting individuals and families in obtaining and stabilizing their housing situations by developing strategies to prevent homelessness before it starts. Over the last 25 years, HomeStart has found permanent housing for over 14,000 individuals living on the streets and in shelters, while also working to prevent over 4,000 families from experiencing homelessness by way of eviction. HomeStart's clients include survivors of domestic violence, single parents and their children, veterans, and persons with disabilities, all living at or below the poverty line. With the help of our wrap-around supportive services, 96% of HomeStart's clients remain stable in their homes year after year.

For more information, visit www.homestart.org/renew

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