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Step Forward concludes Home Relief Assistance Program

Step Forward has announced the conclusion of the Home Relief Assistance Program effective March 31, 2024. The agency is no longer accepting rental assistance applications.


Two individuals look out a window.


This funding initiative, along with other mortgage and utility assistance programs, was launched in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to aid individuals and families in maintain housing stability during challenging times. Since 2020, Ohio’s network of 47 Community Action Agencies distributed nearly $660 million in federal rental, mortgage, and utility assistance allocated to the state of Ohio by the federal government. Step Forward has distributed more than $36 million in aid, with more than $10 million disbursed in 2023 alone.

 

“The need for housing assistance has been significant, and the Home Relief Assistance program has played an important role in helping individuals and families in our community,” Travena Golliday, Step Forward’s Director of Neighborhood Opportunity Centers, said. “The end of this funding is not the same as an end for the need. We remain committed to providing assistance as best as possible, but there is no escaping that other resources and programs are limited.”

 

Step Forward assists a client.

The decision to conclude the Home Relief Assistance program aligns with the federal government’s broader strategy to phase our pandemic-era funding. While this determination originates from federal policy, Step Forward is committed to collaborating with our partners and stakeholders to identify alternative solutions that support individuals and families in need.


Applications submitted on or before March 15, 2024 will continue to be processed through April or until funds are exhausted. To ensure that those facing imminent homeless receive support, Step Forward will prioritize applicants with scheduled court dates in eviction court.


Despite the conclusion of the Home Relief Assistance program, Step Forward will continue to offer its other programs and services, including Early Head Start and Head Start, Personal Development such as counseling, parenting programs, and more, Professional Development including adult skills training and employment connection, the Home Energy Assistance Program, and more.

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