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New Model

Finding help with local organizing

Starting over
Since 2000, COHHIO has been providing on site organizing support to tenants in Federally assisted housing.  But beginning in 2013, that program must come to an end because:
  • Travel costs are eating up the budget, and
  • Funding priorities are changing, and
  • Staff members have left the organization.
RHINO provides a partial answer
Knowing that things would change, in 2011, COHHIO started the RHINO project to help tenants adapt to new challenges.  By linking tenant serving organizations, social service professionals, tenant leaders, community leaders and advocates, RHINO is designed to increase local organizing support to tenant communities by
  • promoting and supporting new organizing services in local communities,
  • coordinating work around issues that affect all tenants in Ohio
  • creating new information tools on line and in handouts, and
  • providing technical assistance to local RHINO members.

 New Opportunities

New organizing services in local communities
RHINO is working with tenant serving organizations to expand their support for local tenant organizing and advocacy.  There are two big barriers to providing local organizing support
  • lack of funding
  • lack of trained staff
  • RHINO seeks to address these concerns by finding new funding sources and new funding models and providing training and technical assistance to organizing staff people.
RHINO can only support, not lead local efforts.  Tenants and local community members must take the lead in their own communities.  There is no "Lone Ranger" who can show up, put things right and ride off into the sunset.  The success of groups like Newark Freedom School makes us sure that this approach can work.

Coordinating work around issues that affect all tenants in Ohio
RHINO is doing research on issues that affect tenants and then setting up working groups to address those concerns.  Working groups include tenants and supporters to address issues.  A current example is the Bed Bug Best Practices working group which is getting housing intermediaries to address Bed Bug issues.

Creating new information tools on line and in publications
What we learn we share.  RHINO is constantly updating the website with information about tenants rights and ways to improve the conditions in tenant households and tenant communities.  In addition to the on line content, RHINO provides weekly news updates to RHINO members and publishes a weekly newsletter, rhino!UP.

technical assistance to RHINO members
Got a question?  RHINO will try to help you find solutions.  What we don't know we will investigate.  When Marlene asked about Video surveillance in her building, it triggered a major discussion across the legal services community and beyond.  What we learn we share.

Notes & Links