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Study Aims To Assess and Lower Franklin County's Eviction Rate

The City of Columbus, Franklin County and Ohio State University plan to study the county's eviction rate, which is the highest in the state. Jim Letizia reports.

Officials say OSU graduate students will conduct face-to-face interviews with tenants,  landlords and others, make observations in the field and collect data as part of the research project. Franklin County’s eviction court handles nearly 18 thousand cases per year. Officials want the study to examine family circumstances, including type of employment and wages, as well as unexpected triggers such as illness or a loss of transportation that cause the financial problems behind many evictions. Other factors include incresing rental costs, and the availability and quality of housing. The study is expected to include policy recommendations to help alleviate some of the causes. TheNational Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio say Columbus had the highest housing wage last year. A worker needs to earn at least 17 dollars an hour to spend 30 percent of gross income on a two-bedroom apartment. But many Columbus renters are spending upwards of 60 to 70 percent of their monthly incomes on housing. It's not clear when the study will be completed.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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