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Franklin County Partners with City, Ohio State to Study the Reasons behind Eviction

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Contact:

Tyler Lowry, Commissioners, 614-525-6630
Marty Homan, Commissioners, 614-525-5273
Lee Cole, City Council, 614-645-5530

Homelessness and evictions are on the rise in Columbus and Franklin County. The Franklin County Municipal Court processes nearly 130 cases a day; the most in the state. It is a crippling reality that the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and Columbus City Council want to understand.
 
Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown, Columbus City Councilmember Jaiza Page, and Dr. Trevor Brown, Dean of Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, announced today the commission of an eviction study.
 
“There is almost nothing more important to well-being and development, especially for children, than having a safe, comfortable place to live,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown.  “Evictions cause instability and homelessness and, ultimately, they’re even more costly for landlords than other processes like mediation.  I’m glad that we’re beginning to focus on this important issue.”
 
By creating partnerships with each other and The Ohio State University, Columbus and Franklin County can begin to take an ethnographic approach to finding the root causes of eviction. Ethnography is the study of people in their own environment through the use of methods such as participant observation and face-to-face interviewing.
 
“Our City has an unusually high rate of evictions, and we need to ask why,” said Councilmember Jaiza Page. “In Franklin County, nearly 18,000 eviction notices are filed each year, making our eviction court the busiest in the state. Before we can offer solutions, we must identify these underlying causes of eviction. We need to explore why there is so much instability in our community and how we can move forward to strengthen our neighborhoods and keep families in their homes.”
 
Masters and doctoral students from the Glenn College will interview evicted tenants and landlords to begin to identify the causes leading up to eviction. The team will also work to identify policy recommendations the county and city could implement to help alleviate the triggers.
 
The goal of this study is to:
•    Research the underlying causes of eviction through interviews with landlords and tenants.
•    Create policy recommendations that can positively change the eviction outcomes in the City.
 
The Columbus Women’s Commission, chaired by Columbus’ First Lady Shannon Ginther, has also joined as a partner to combat the eviction crisis.

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