Goes a Long Way
Goes a Long Way
Cleveland Tenants Organization is the only non-profit in Cuyahoga County devoted solely to the rental community. We provide phone and in-person counseling, and conduct outreach to broader groups, in conjunction with the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law (OLTL). We educate both tenants and landlords on the fundamentals of the OLTL, and of their rights and responsibilities in rental housing. Additionally, we empower tenants to utilize their knowledge and assert themselves when applicable in navigating the lawful process of holding their landlord accountable for substandard housing conditions or other violations of the OLTL. CTO stabilizes rental housing situations and in doing so, aims to stabilize entire communities.
Through our Eviction Diversion program, Cleveland Tenants Organization performs outreach to thousands of Cuyahoga County residents every year who face eviction. While many evictions cannot be prevented, we do educate clients on the process and timing so that they have the best chance at not becoming homeless. We refer clients to agencies who can assist with moving costs, security deposits, back rent money, and finding housing. We also assess cases and apprise individuals of options if they exist, to keep their housing and/or fight for damages. Cleveland Tenants Organization also offers options for mediation between landlords and tenants.
Cleveland Tenants Organization assists thousands of tenants every year. As a result, we are able to assess the far-reaching issues related to rental housing and the rental community. We develop an advocacy agenda based on our interactions with clients. CTO engages local, state, and national policy makers to retain and establish policy that affects the rental community, including laws related to housing and the financial sector. We aim to not only improve rental housing conditions, but also the vitality of renters.
For over forty years, the Cleveland Tenants Organization has pursued its mission to educate tenants and landlords, empower the community, and advocate for affordable, fair, and quality rental housing. Throughout our history we have made an incredible impact for tens of thousands of renters in Northeast Ohio, preventing homelessness, resolving disputes between tenants and landlords, advocating for the needs of low to moderate income tenants, informing citizens of their rights and responsibilities in rental housing, and empowering tenants individually and collectively to represent themselves and their interests.
While the need in our community is greater than ever, it is with deep sadness that the CTO board of directors voted to suspend CTO's operations. Over the past decade many of our board members have watched financial support for CTO slowly decline to the point where the organization became no longer sustainable, leaving us no choice but to lay off our remaining staff.
We are grateful that tenants in Northeast Ohio will continue to have access to a rental information hotline, as CTO's rental information line will be covered by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland effective February 5, 2018. Renters can call 216-861- 5955 during business hours if they need information about their rights and responsibilities. CTO's website will also be maintained as a resource by Legal Aid.
CTO's board remains committed to the organization's mission, and over the coming months will be exploring ways to maintain different pieces of CTO's core service provision by partnering with other agencies in our community.