ONC reporting – In Ohio’s rural counties, a widespread shortage, discrimination and cost all stack up against domestic-violence survivors and their children seeking safe long-term housing. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network has received nearly $2 million in state funding to help people fleeing abuse find apartments, recruit landlords and inspect units to ensure they meet Department of Housing and Urban Development standards.

Takara Sanders, program manager of the Rapid Rehousing program with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network said the Rapid ReHousing grant also provides at least 6 months of rental assistance for about 200 survivors and their children in its first year. Sanders added having stable housing immediately puts survivors on the path toward self-sufficiency and independence.

“Housing is the foundation for literally everything. And so, helping to provide survivors with that basic necessity, sets them up for success in the future.”

Research shows long-term housing stability results in decreased physical, psychological and economic abuse among survivors, as well as the use of their children against them as a form of abuse. Last year shelters across the state temporarily housed nearly ten thousand adults and children, according to ODVN.

Sanders added it is important for local governments, property management companies, and landlords to work together to assist survivors in finding housing.

“With the shortage of affordable housing right now, it can be difficult, again, not just for our reach clients, but anyone to locate affordable housing.”

Applicants seeking housing on behalf of domestic violence survivors are routinely denied housing or offered less advantageous terms than applicants not associated with domestic violence, according to the National Housing Law Project.

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