The following is the open letter that HFLA of Northeast Ohio has sent to Ohio representatives and senators to address our community’s need for cash payments to alleviate the economic burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

November 18, 2020

Dear Honorable Representatives and Senators of Ohio:

Representative Fudge

Representative Kaptur

Representative Gonzalez

Representative Ryan

Representative Joyce

Representative Gibbs

Representative Johnson

Representative Jordan

Senator Brown

Senator Portman

COVID-19 has put many of our fellow Americans on the brink of financial ruin. As we have throughout our 116-year history, HFLA of Northeast Ohio has responded to this crisis by issuing interest free loans to individuals without access to conventional financing, regardless of their identity. Due to this emergency our loan volume has increased by 20%, but our inquiries have increased by nearly 400%. People are pleading for help. The calls we receive range from individuals whose unemployment benefits are not nearly enough to make ends meet; parents who are forced to stay home from work while their children are learning remotely; family members who must stay outside the home to quarantine; workers who only received partial income while they were out sick…and many others we are unable to help because they need more than we can offer and lack the ability to repay a loan. Unlike Congress, who holds legislative power, our funds are limited, and we count on our dollars being repaid before we can lend them again.

Therefore, we urge the issuer of U.S. Dollars, the Federal government, to begin making generous cash payments to all Americans in need. This should be done urgently, and on a recurring basis as long as this pandemic and its aftershocks persist. Any style of relief is better than nothing, but all other forms to date have been too slow and convoluted and allowed many faultless people to fall through the cracks.

We will continue to do everything we can, but as a legislator in Washington D.C., we hope you realize the uniqueness of your position at this historic moment and use it to deliver what only you can-direct cash payments.


Michal Marcus, Executive Director 

Laura Kleinman, HFLA Board President

HFLA Staff: Hillary Butler, Katy Fuerst, Brady Gasser, Leslie Wright

Board of Directors: Lisa Arlyn Lowe, Karil Bialostosky, Jonathan Brown, David Edelman, Lorie Gelb, Eric Kaston, Scott Lewis, Irwin Lowenstein, Carrie Miller, Stuart Ostro, Jason Powers, Brian Rosenfelt, Debra Shaw, Dara Weinerman-Steinberg, Christine Weiss, Carol Willen

Join us and the Ohio CDC Association, on November 19, 2020 for Call-In Day to demand the Senate immediately pass a coronavirus relief bill that includes essential housing and homelessness resources and protections that have already cleared the U.S. House.

What you can say when you call:

  • Nearly 250,000 Ohio Households are behind on rent.
  • 86,000 Ohio households are concerned they will be evicted in the next 2 months.
  • CARES Act funding for emergency rental assistance expires December 31st.
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium expires December 31st.
  • Ohio and the nation face a major eviction crisis in 2021 if Congress doesn’t pass a relief bill with significant funding for housing assistance immediately.
  • Please join Senator Brown in supporting $100 billion for emergency rental assistance and $11.5 billion for homeless programs in the next coronavirus relief bill.
For more information about Coronavirus relief negotiations and National Call-In Day, see this recent update from our friends, the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Information retrieved from the Ohio CDC Association.