Cleveland Tenants Organization Ceases Operations Citing Funding Issues

Cleveland Tenants Organization Ceases Operations Citing Funding Issues
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A Cleveland non-profit that since 1975 has advocated for tenants' rights and affordable rental housing, resolved disputes with landlords, fought housing discrimination, worked to prevent homelessness and, generally, served as a much-needed resource for low and middle income renters announced last night the end of its operations.

The Cleveland Tenants Organization, facing ever dwindling funding from grants and county coffers, will be no more. A rental information hotline (216-861-5955) maintained and staffed by the non-profit will be taken over by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. That number handled volumes of calls, at times around 10,000 a year, from landlords and tenants seeking assistance; CTO received thousands of referrals from other agencies and non-profits such as United Way each year as well. Its website will live on as a compendium of resources and information.

Their announcement is in full below:

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.