Facts supporting the Housing Crisis that exists in Cuyahoga County and the City of Cleveland

  • The National Low Income Housing Coalition reports in 2003 that housing is becoming more “Out of Reach” for residents of Cuyahoga County.  They estimated that a single individual must make $11.65 per hour for 40 hours a week in order to be able to afford a one bedroom apartment while a family must make $14.46 per hour to be able to afford a two bedroom apartment.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that 45,000 people were in need of affordable housing in Greater Cleveland in 2000. 
  • The U.S. Conference of Mayors reported in 2002 that Cleveland had 18 straight years of increases in homelessness.  Last year, there was a 15% increase in requests for shelter in Cleveland and 10% increase in requests for shelter from families. According to the report nationally 26% of all shelter requests go unmet because of a lack of resources.
  • According to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, nearly 26,000 people were homeless in Cuyahoga County every year with 3,800 people homeless every night in the county.  This includes the shelter population of 2,100 people and 1,700 sleeping on the streets or staying in abandoned or inappropriate spaces.
  • No where in the United States does welfare or disability assistance provide enough income for an individual to afford an apartment at the fair market rent.
  • According to the recent census, 50% of the approximately 101,000 rental households pay more than 30% of their monthly income on rent, and 25% pay more than half of their monthly income on rent.  These households are in danger of becoming homeless. 
  • The City of Cleveland Housing Court processed 12,400 evictions in 2001, the majority of which are for non-payment of rent.  This is the largest number of evictions in the last 15 years.  In 2002, there were 10,676 evictions filed and 1,755 forced move outs by bailiffs.
  • According to Ohio Policy Matters the foreclosure rate on houses increased by 23% between 2000 and 2001 in the State of Ohio.
  • The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority reports 9,000 people currently on the waiting list for housing.  They also report that the last time the voucher program was opened in 2000, 35,000 people applied for the 6,000 vouchers that were available.
  • United Way’s First Call for Help reports a 21% increase in requests for help with housing and shelter this year over last.
  • Every shelter in Cleveland is full every night.  The men’s shelters have had to operate three overflow facilities of over 100 beds during this summer.  These overflow spaces are not available, and there is no current plan to house the huge number of people, who show up at the shelter doors every night going into the cold Cleveland winter.  The women and children's shelter that accepts overflow has operated on some nights at 137% capacity on a regular basis.
  • All of the emergency and transitional shelters in Cleveland surveyed in 2002 report turning between 20-50 people away per week, because they were full. 
  • Cuyahoga County provided nearly $7 million in eviction prevention to non-profit organizations, which was provided to families in 2001.  This assistance helped thousands of families, but the funds were withdrawn by the State of Ohio in 2002.  There are very few rental assistance prevention dollars available in our community.


Updated: 10/20/03