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Akron hosts summit to mark Eviction Prevention Week

Kabir Bhatia
Debra Holman (left) was fed up with the poor condition of her public housing unit at White Pond Villa and started asking for repairs to be made in March, 2020. Some of the work is still going on. She was at Community Legal Aid's day-long Eviction Prevention summit on Thursday.

This is “Eviction Prevention Week” in Akron. One advocacy group brought together experts Thursday to come up with solutions to the city’s housing crisis.

Community Legal Aid and Fair Housing Contact Service hosted a day-long summit on topics such as the intersection between health and housing, and how eviction court works. One of the moderators was community organizer Ray Greene. He’s put together tenant’s unions in ten buildings in Akron. And he says the city should do something about landlords who live out-of-town – or who aren’t even people.

“If not get rid of LLCs altogether, at least put a five-year cap [so] the property must be abandoned or unlived-in – to give the community five years to figure out if they want to buy it – before they give it to LLCs.”

Within the next month, Community Legal Aid plans to compile ideas from the summit and release a report with long- and short-term ways to prevent evictions in Akron.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.