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Rep. Russo: $465 million for COVID-19 rent and utility assistance signed into law

Says funds will give working people, families support they need amid uncertainty of pandemic
May 11, 2021
C. Allison Russo News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) today announced that House Bill (HB) 167, COVID-19 relief legislation that will deliver $465 million in direct aid for rent and utility assistance, was signed into law. House Democrats have called for rent and utility relief since the onset of the pandemic, introducing bills that would have created a program for immediate rental assistance, postponed evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic, and prevented utility shutoffs during an emergency.

“The relief provided by this legislation is long overdue, and I am pleased Gov. DeWine signed it,” said Rep. Russo.  “These critical federal dollars from both the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act will deliver direct, much needed aid to Ohioans who, through no fault of their own, are unable to make ends meet to pay for essentials such as rent and utilities.  These supports are essential if we are to move toward a post-pandemic future.”  

Democrats, however, did express concerns about Republicans delaying the release of the funding, which was originally included in the federal CARES Act, which passed in March 2020, as well as the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, which passed in Dec. 2020.

HB 167 also includes $100 million for federal disaster assistance.