Akron Local Lab

Akron, Ohio – a Rust Belt city with a storied manufacturing past – is trying to stage a comeback, offering tax breaks and other incentives to spur development. But one of the biggest obstacles might be the city’s housing market. Akron was consistently ranked among the cheapest housing markets in the country, yet rents have risen 50% in the last two decades, while wages have remained stagnant. And the eviction rate was the highest among Ohio’s largest cities.

Home in Akron – a news collaborative featuring the Akron Beacon Journal, The Devil Strip, WEWS News 5, WKSU Radio, Your Voice Ohio and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting – wanted to help audiences understand these housing issues and their underlying reasons. And as our reporting has continued, we also want to shed light on how the pandemic is changing the neighborhoods and living situations of city’s residents.

Read the Reporting:

Rising rents, a high eviction rate, and disinvestment complicate Akron’s housing picture (WKSU – 3/15/21)

Home in Akron: Making ends meet with rising rent (ABC News 5 – 3/10/21)

Helping Summit County’s 90,000 older adults stay safe in their homes (The Devil Strip – 1/14/21)

Akron Municipal Court reverses course, resumes some virtual eviction hearings (The Devil Strip/Akron Beacon Journal – 11/18/20)

Virtual eviction hearings continue despite moratoriums (The Devil Strip/Akron Beacon Journal – 11/4/20)

Pandemic takes tenants, landlords on emotional roller coaster ride (WEWS News 5 – 9/28/20)

Federal eviction moratorium takes effect Friday for some tenants (Akron Beacon Journal/The Devil Strip – 9/3/20)

Akron tax abatement program eclipses $50 million in projects (Akron Beacon Journal/The Devil Strip – 8/27/20)

Is Akron’s tax abatement program working? Here’s who is using it and why (The Devil Strip – 8/27/20)

Here come the evictions (Akron Beacon Journal – 5/30/20)

The Summit County agency working to end homelessness (WKSU – 3/17/20)

Akron nonprofit trying to rehab 60 homes in 60 months (WEWS News 5 – 2/17/20)

Tenant hits ‘slumlord’ in the pocketbook (Akron Beacon Journal – 2/8/20)

The real impact Akron’s rental housing has on the city (WKSU – 2/7/20)

When squatters become tenants (WKSU/Akron Beacon Journal – 2/3/20)

Woman who faced eviction turned to Community Legal Aid for help to get case dismissed (WEWS News 5 – 2/3/20)

Editorial: Why Akron media are focusing on housing issues (Akron Beacon Journal – 2/1/20)