City Council: Committees Consider New Tenant Program for Tenants

The Athens City Council discussed a new paid stay program dealing with evictions in the city during its Monday evening committee meetings.

The full committee discussed a new pay-to-stay program, which was put in place by United Athens County Tenants and would create security for tenants subject to eviction.

Councilman Ben Ziff, D-At Large, said Ohio is currently one of five states that allows evictions if a tenant is one day behind in paying rent. The pay-for-stay program would give tenants time until the eviction hearing to pay all of their late fees and the full cost of rent.

Ziff said there are 12 other cities in Ohio that have a pay-to-stay program in place.

Councilor Solveig Spjeldnes, D-1st Ward, said it could be helpful for tenants to be required to let their landlord know if they are going to be late on a payment. By doing so, the owner might be willing to work with that person, she said.

In other business, the Finance and Personnel Committee discussed two votes. One is a $10,000 credit to the Athens Improvement Fund to support the arts and music festival taking place in August. The second is a general fund credit of $500 for the office of the general counsel who needs a computer.

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Ryan H. Bowman