Finding Housing

Finding Housing

Cleveland Tenants Organization does not perform housing searches for tenants, but we do have a list of some affordable housing options for low income renters.

We encourage tenants either call Housing Cleveland at 2-1-1 or visit HousingCleveland.org.  Here, tenants can search for housing using a variety of criteria.  Tenants can also calculate moving costs and affordable rent, and learn about different types of rental housing. 

Questions to Ask and Best Practices:

  • What are options for paying rent?  Check or money order is best, but if a tenant must pay in cash, ensure you are asking for and receiving a written receipt of payment.
  • What utilities are you responsible for paying?
  • Ask for contact information for the landlord, and any “agent” of the landlord, meaning representatives of a management company if applicable.
  • Ask to read the lease, and read the lease.  If the landlord refuses to give you time to read the lease, consider this a red flag.
  • Talk to prospective roommates
  • Talk to prospective neighbors about previous tenants-did they have a good experience?  Is the landlord reachable and communicative?  Does the landlord maintain the property?
  • Tenants should be aware that paying a nominal application fee for
  • Request to inspect the interior and ensure you receive in writing the terms of any improvements you wish to see made prior to move in.
  • Can you afford the apartment?  Between the cost of rent, parking, and any other utilities, the total cost for your housing should only be 25-30% of your monthly salary.  If you calculate that the cost of the unit or dwelling you are looking at is higher than that percentage, consider this a red flag as it pertains to your own financial health.

Perform basic searches on the landlord, including google searches, searches in court dockets, and searches for real property (see take action, how to find your landlord.)  If your landlord is delinquent in property taxes, owes for grass cutting or water bills, consider these red flags.  If you have questions about how to perform these searches, contact CTO. 

Waiting List For Public Housing

For tenants who wish to be added to wait lists for public housing or the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8), please visit the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority webpage  or the Parma Housing Authority. Please keep in mind that wait lists can be years long, but interested tenants are encouraged to apply.