Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Cincinnati Launches HomeStart’s Renew Collaborative

Oct 17, 2022



New Initiative Will Prevent Non-Payment Eviction For Hundreds of Cincinnati Public Housing Tenants

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

Cincinnati, OH – 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.

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 it is now 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 expense 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 nonpayment 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 nonpayment eviction,” said Gregory D. 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.”

The benefit of expanding the Renew Collaborative to Hamilton County was identified by GreenLight Fund Cincinnati, which conducted a rigorous, year-long selection effort to identify an initiative with a proven track record of preserving tenancies while also unlocking new financial resources for a major issue that is much larger than any private or public funding could support alone.

“We recognize this as a unique time and opportunity for Cincinnati to increase local, cross-sector capacity and this model was identified through our community-driven evaluation process as the most effective eviction prevention program in the country.” said Clare Zlatic Blankemeyer, Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Cincinnati. “The Renew Collaborative model was prioritized by community members and our Selection Advisory Council as a key investment strategy aligned with regional plans like Housing Our Future and the Community Health Improvement Plan.”

“When I think about the highest need impacting my neighbors and other CMHA residents, a yearlong of support to weather the storm and get financials on track was the kind of initiative that I would like to see in Cincinnati,” said LaShonda Raines, who served as a community consultant providing feedback on GreenLight Fund’s Selection process.

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