The City of Cincinnati is experiencing a critical shortage of affordable and accessible housing, and the economic collapse from COVID 19 has made this situation worse. Over 40,000 households pay more than they can afford for a safe and stable home. This has forced thousands of families with children; working adults; and our elders into the trauma of homelessness. Everyone deserves access to the security of a home. The problem is real. Now let’s talk about a solution.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now advocates that all people have a safe, accessible, and affordable place to call home. We are organizing a grassroots, community-driven ballot initiative to secure permanent funding for the city’s Housing Trust Fund, and are currently collecting signatures to support a vote in May 2021. Campaign organizers from Cincinnati Action for Housing Now include members of the Greater Cincinnati Area Coalition for the Homeless, from the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, and from Affordable Housing Advocates.
We are seeking three part-time Community Canvassers to join our Organizing and Advocacy team for a limited term to start on Saturday, October 16 and to conduct voter outreach and petition gathering through the November 3, 2020, election. The final end date for this position is Friday, November 13, 2020. This position will engage members of the public through door-to-door canvassing efforts and at scheduled community events, implementing our campaign’s organizing tactics and strategies.
Learning from Cincinnati Action for Housing Now campaign staff and volunteers, the Community Canvassers will have the following primary responsibilities:
- Prepare and submit walk sheets for use in field canvass efforts
- Participate in team planning of organizing strategies
- Meet numeric targets for door-to-door canvassing
- Engage community members in dialogue, provide information, and drop campaign literature
The ideal candidate will have basic computer literacy, experience in canvassing or community organizing, commitment to principles of racial and social justice, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work scheduled but flexible hours including evenings and weekends.
Physical Demands/Work Environment
The physical demands described here are representative of those for this function. The work will be performed primarily in an outdoor environment with exposure to climate and weather
conditions that may include wind, rain, bright sunlight, fluctuating temperatures, or snow. Additionally, canvassers might be working inside high-rise buildings with stairs; walking for several hours on sidewalks or uneven pavement; and standing during an entire shift. All canvassers are expected to wear a mask and maintain social distance to protect themselves and the community from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
While performing the duties of this position, the canvassers are expected to:
- Talk, hear, and see in the normal range, with or without correction
- Use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls
- Reach with hands or arms
- Occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
- Occasionally climb stairs
- Regularly move and stand for extended hours in weather that may be windy, cold, snowy, rainy, or hot
- Listen, hear, speak, and write in English
The pay rate for these positions are $15 per hour for 20 hours per week. The start date is Saturday, October 17. A flexible schedule is required.
To apply, email a resume and cover letter to email@example.com by 9am on Tuesday, October 13. Interviews will take place over the phone on Wednesday and Thursday. We will contact the selected candidates on Friday, October 16, and the positions will begin on Saturday, October 17.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now and its member organizations envision a society grounded in the principles of intersectional social, racial, and economic justice. As such, we prioritize an inclusive workplaces that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each individual. Our vision and values are reflected in all our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. Accordingly, Cincinnati Action for Housing Now seeks individuals who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work.
Our Affordable Housing Trust Fund policy change initiative needs 9000 signatures to be on the ballot in May 2021! This initiative will require the City of Cincinnati to spend $50 million dollars a year on housing that is affordable for people who earn less than $24,000. Be part of this historical moment through our “1000 Hours to Affordable Housing” campaign!
Register for any number of hours that fits your schedule and availability, and collect signatures from the people in your social network. Maybe they are your friends, family, or coworkers. Maybe you want to attend your neighborhood Farmers’ Market. Maybe you want to petition on the sidewalk. How you collect signatures during your hours is up to you. We will give you a petition packet that includes the signatures forms, a clipboard, pens, buttons, postcards, speaking points, and a face mask. The rest is up to you!
It’s easy! Complete the form. Give us your name, phone number, and email address. Tell us how many hours you are committing toward signature collection.
After you register
You will receive a Welcome Packet in your email that includes a toolkit with more information, and a link to the post-completion Survey. You will complete this survey after you have finished your hours.
The signature collection period is from Monday, August 16-Sunday, October 4, 2020. Instructions for picking up and returning your petition packets is included in the Welcome Packet.
Congress is currently negotiating the next coronavirus relief bill. With mass unemployment and over 500,000 Ohio tenants wondering how they’ll pay next month’s rent, emergency rental assistance must be part of the solution!
Join us today to push Ohio’s Congressional delegation to act to prevent a wave of evictions during this pandemic!
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced legislation (S. 3685, H.R. 6820) to provide a $100 billion time-limited emergency rental assistance program in the next coronavirus relief bill. The U.S. House has already passed similar legislation, but so far Senate leaders have been reluctant to act. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) could help break the partisan divide.
Sen. Portman, who introduced the Eviction Crisis Act in December, understands the damage eviction causes to people, but he has not yet publicly advocated for emergency rental assistance to help the millions of unemployed Americans facing eviction during the public health crisis.
Phone Calls: You’ll likely leave a message or speak to a staffer, but when phone calls add up, they really can help sway your member of Congress. Below are some suggestions on what to say when you call Sen. Portman and your members of Congress. Feel free to contact COHHIO Advocacy Director Gina Wilt with any questions, and let her know who you called so we can keep track.
- I’m calling to ask you to please support the inclusion of Emergency Rental Assistance in the next coronavirus relief package.
- The House passed legislation to provide $100 billion in emergency rental assistance for workers – this would go a long way to help the 1.5 million unemployed Ohioans who are wondering how they will pay next month’s rent.
- Without emergency rental assistance, millions of tenants will face eviction, and landlords won’t be able to pay their mortgage, taxes and employees.
- Emergency rental assistance is essential for keeping Americans safely housed, and for stabilizing our economy.
- Please support the Emergency Rental Assistance Act and vote to include it in the next coronavirus relief bill.
- Personal stories are great – describe your struggles to stay housed during the pandemic.
Emails: Phone calls have the most impact, but our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition have also created an easy email template to urge your Congressional representatives to prioritize emergency rental assistance. All of these contacts add up, so please speak out on behalf of struggling renters!
Social Media: Twitter is also a great way to get the word out about the need for emergency rental assistance. If you tag members of Congress, they’re more likely to see your message. Below are some sample tweets, and please use the hashtag: #RentReliefNow
Covid has decimated our workforce. Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans don’t know how they’ll pay next month’s rent. We need #RentReliefNow to prevent mass evictions and homelessness in the months to come. @SenRobPortman
1 in 5 Ohio tenants couldn’t pay rent in July. Extra unemployment benefits expire soon. @SenRobPortman please support $100B in emergency rental assistance to ensure unemployed renters have a home during the pandemic. #RentReliefNow
No one should lose their home during a global pandemic. @SenRobPortman you can help by supporting $100B in emergency rental assistance in the next coronavirus relief bill. #RentReliefNow
You can also retweet our #RentReliefNow tweets on our Twitter feed.
- COHHIO’s Housing & Homelessness Roundtable with Sen. Brown
- National Low Income Housing Coalition: Responding to Coronavirus
- Dayton Daily News: Pandemic, economic crisis to trigger wave of evictions
Get your calendars out! The Coalition’s Education Program is excited to announce our public education program for July! All events are open to the public, virtual, and Pay-What-You-Can ($0-$50), however, tickets are required.
Each event is approximately 2 hours, including a discussion. (Housing Protections and Production 301 will run a little longer.)
Please share and help us get the word out! Because the events are virtual, people from everywhere are encourage to attend!
Updated with Direct Ticket Link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/244215
Affordable Housing 201
Housing Protections 301
Housing Production 401
Speaker Event with Melissa
Speaker Event with Willa
Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement (Virtual) Walking Tour
Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Today
The Homeless Coalition is offering virtual programming… Consider attending our events!
- Training: Homelessness 101, Affordable Housing 201, Housing Protections 301, and Housing Production 401 give you access to the fundamentals of homelessness and affordable housing.
- Speakers: Melissa Mosby and Willa Jones will tell their stories and lead a discussion at each event. More Speakers will be available in the future.
- Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Virtual Tour: Get grounded in Cincinnati history and get clarity on current events.
- Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Today: Get updated on actions, struggles, and current issues facing Over-the-Rhine.
Do each Training, attend either Speaker’s event, and take a Tour to earn your Homeless Coalition Ambassador Certificate! You’ll also find more ways to plug in and to share the message.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now seeks activists and organizers to join campaign teams for our affordable housing trust fund campaign.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now advocates that all people have a safe, accessible, and affordable place to call home. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund campaign is a community-driven movement to pass a local ballot initiative that will secure money for the city-wide Housing Trust Fund. We are looking ahead at this initiative on the May 4, 2021 ballot. It will take a collaborative effort across the entire community, and we are happy to get you involved. A brief registration form will connect you to the Campaign Team that is the best fit for your skills, your personality, and your strengths.
The Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition is proud to present our educational program on a online platform!
Want a Speaker for your class?
Want to take a Tour with friends and family?
Need a Training for work?
We have you covered!
The programs that you have known and loved are now available through Google Meet! Anyone with a Gmail account can easily join. This is great news, because it opens up our programs to people all over the world!
Each 90 minute event ends with an open discussion so you can be assured you get your questions answered. We can also tailor the length of the program to your needs!
Check out this video that includes samples of a Speaking Engagement with Melissa, and a Virtual Walking Tour with Dr. Mark. This video was made in tribute to a local high school student who had been a strong supporter of the work of the Homeless Coalition.
Then book your event below:
We have attempted to keep the price down and value high, so Speakers and Tours continue to be $80 for groups up to 120 people. Any larger groups will be assessed an additional fee. Trainings are just $125 for organizations.
Shortly after filling out the form, you will be contacted to confirm the date and time, as well as, any special needs you may have. Contact the Director of Education with any questions: MarkMussman@cincihomeless.org
Governor DeWine has issued an order to protect evictions and foreclosures on commercial properties. Tenants have not received the same rights! It is time for him to hear and understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people who are struggling to pay rent. The failure at the state level to protect tenants during this public health crisis will continue to force people into the trauma of homelessness! The Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless are working together to organize the State of Ohio toward tenant protections. People who are at-risk in their housing need to share their story. We need a statewide 90-day moratorium on residential rental evictions during this pandemic.
Here is a sample form letter to send as an email:
To: [STATE REPRESENTATIVE, STATE SENATOR]
From: [YOUR NAME, ADDRESS]
I am one of the Ohio tenants who is unable to pay my full rent this month because of [LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT, ILLNESS, OTHER (explain)] related to the COVID 19 pandemic. I have not yet received any financial assistance from the state or local government. I am at risk of facing eviction from my home.
I urge you to ask Governor DeWine to enact a statewide 90-day moratorium on residential evictions with additional tenant support to ensure that I will still have a right to the peaceful enjoyment of my rental home throughout this public health crisis and once I get back on my feet.
Necessary protections include:
- Require residential landlords to accept late and partial payments during the moratorium period.
- Prohibit landlords from charging late fees during the moratorium period.
- Encourage courts to hold informal meetings with tenants and landlords to seek mediated agreements before permitting landlords to file evictions after the moratorium is over.
- Direct local law enforcement to prevent landlords from taking the law into their own hands with “self-help evictions” such as turning off utilities, padlocking the premises, or seizing a tenant’s belongings.
Residential tenants like me deserve to be treated with the same consideration that the Governor has already provided to commercial (business) tenants in his Executive Order 2020-08D.
If you have any other questions about my situation, please feel free to contact me at PHONE or EMAIL.
Thanks for your timely intervention. The need is urgent.
Send this as an email to the following elected officials:
Although we are currently unable to meet in person with newly established and actively engaged tenant groups, we must still continue building and sustaining momentum through this pandemic. The courts are on a pause, but at the end of COVID-19, the City’s housing crisis will look the same, if not worse, than it appeared before this public health emergency. Business will resume as usual.
This time is an opportunity for all organizers to transition their mobilization efforts onto digital platforms. It’s a time for us to leverage the knowledge we already have, and to learn new skills. At the Homeless Coalition, we are soon going to launch Outvote to mobilize support for our Affordable Housing Trust Fund ballot initiative. We are also collaborating with a team AmeriCorps community service members to design Facebook and GroupMe user tools that we will share with tenant groups. This crisis pushes all of us into unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory, but we have it within ourselves to emerge stronger and even more organized on the other side of it.
For more information about how to build and sustain community organizing efforts during this time of necessary social distance, check out the resource library below.
There are 1800 people in congregate housing at this time in Cincinnati.
We are all being ordered to maintain social distance from one another and to stay in our homes, but this is simply not possible for people experiencing homelessness or living in congregant transitional housing. For hundreds of people in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, social distancing is not even possible when sleeping. For more than a week, dozens of service provider organizations have been tele-conferencing daily to plan and take action to get people in our shelters and congregant facilities out of direct danger. It has become clear that while COVID-19 is a threat to everyone, its threat is greater to people experiencing homelessness. We are attempting to prevent disaster within our shelters and congregant housing programs and reduce greater risk to our community as whole.
Speakers at Tuesday’s press conference will call on the general public and businesses to make funds available and to donate or discount hotel rooms and other private living quarters. We will call on universities and colleges to make student living quarters with private restrooms available. Speakers, representing many organizations, will call on our Cincinnati Mayor and City Council, Hamilton County Commissioners, local State of Ohio Representatives and Senators, the State Legislature, the Governor, our local federal Representatives and Senators, and Congress to immediately make significant funds available to pay for hotel rooms, assist with increasing staff overtime costs and staff shortages and to get individuals and families with children into housing. It is also necessary that these officials use all of their social and political leverage to secure hotel rooms, university and college dorms and other private living spaces.
Our organizations have been working non-stop to move people to the safety we have all been advised and ordered to go to, but without the immediate intervention of our elected officials and support from our community and businesses, we will lose people to this virus simply because they did not have a home of their own to go to.
5 Ways to Show Solidarity NOW
Service providers are working overtime. Our community immediately needs space for 212 of the highest-risk individuals, and an additional 1000 rooms in the next several days. We need our elected officials to leverage political and financial support to provide safe and stable space for individuals to shelter during this pandemic. It is time to look toward the universities and convince them to offer space.
You are a valuable voice, and you can create change:
1. Call and email the Office of the Mayor and tell him that he needs to leverage political and financial resources to provide space for individuals who are currently unable to practice social distancing.
Mayor John Cranley: firstname.lastname@example.org 513-352-3250
2. Email and call the City Council Members and tell them that as a community, we are tired of the lack of access to affordable housing and now during a pandemic, hundreds of lives are at high-risk because people have nowhere to go. Demand that the Mayor leverage his political authority to secure space for the individuals who are currently unable to practice social distancing.
To email all council members, send to CityCouncil@cincinnati-oh.gov
3. Call Governor Mike DeWine’s Office at 614-644-4357 and tell him that the City of Cincinnati is currently unable to secure space for members of our community who are experiencing homelessness, and that we need money to provide shelter for these individuals through the duration of this pandemic.
4. Ask your friends and family to call and email these elected officials with this urgent message.
5. Share the need on social media, using #1800Lives.
Donations for families can be done at Strategies to End Homelessness: https://www.strategiestoendhomelessness.org/donate/
Donations For individuals and be done through the United Way and Greater Cincinnati Foundation Fund: https://www.uwgc.org/give/ways-to-give/covid-19-regional-response-fund/