Better Business Bureau Report for
Cleveland Tenants Organization

Better Business Bureau Report issued March 2016
Better Business Bureau Report expires March 2018

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Cleveland Tenants Organization
Address: 5700 Broadway Ave.
  Cleveland, OH 44127
Phone: 216-432-0617
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Formerly known as:Rental Information Center

Year, State Incorporated: 1975, Ohio
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: "to preserve and expand the supply of safe, decent, fair, affordable and accessible rental housing in Greater Cleveland by: Informing citizens of their rights and duties in rental housing; Representing tenants and the interest of tenants in the preservation and promotion of rental housing rights; Empowering tenants individually and collectively to represent themselves and their interests; Advocating for the needs of low and moderate income tenants; Resolving disputes between landlords and tenants; Preventing homelessness; and Combating discrimination in housing based on race, religion, color, gender, handicap, familial status, military status, social/economic class, and sexual orientation."

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Evaluation Conclusions


Cleveland Tenants Organization (CTO) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The Rental Information Center The Rental Information Center offers advice to both landlords and tenants with rental housing concerns and provides information regarding landlord-tenant laws and landlord and tenants’ rights and responsibilities. A phone hotline is staffed Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm by housing counselors, who are available to answer questions regarding rental housing issues and provide referrals for additional services. Informational Rental Rights Workshops are offered in the community on a weekly basis and by special request to assist landlords and tenants with individual questions. Clients are also able to receive one-on-one, face-to-face assistance by appointment. Eviction Diversion Eviction Diversion assists tenants facing eviction and offers assistance when possible to prevent evictions. Program staff are available to explain the eviction process, outline various options for tenants being evicted, and provide information and referrals for a number of community-based services, which assist with locating housing, providing financial assistance for rent and security deposits, and offering legal assistance. Tenant Advocacy and Organizing The Tenant Advocacy & Organizing Program (TAO) assists tenants in multi-family apartment complexes to organize around common housing issues and concerns. Staff is available to work with tenants on a variety of issues and to assist in advocating for improved housing conditions. Tenants for Healthy Homes Program An arm of our Tenant Advocacy & Organizing Program, staff assist in inspections of substandard housing, inspections of apartment units and assists tenants in identifying potentially hazardous environmental conditions in rental housing. Staff work to educate and empower tenants with the tools needed in remedying the conditions and to avoid harm associated with exposure to environmental hazards and toxins. As part of our work, CTO serves as a founding partner organization of the Healthy Homes Advisory Council of Greater Cleveland.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, CTO's program expenses were:

Rental Information Center 99,346
Tenant Adocacy 84,407
Eviction Diversion 81,163
Bridging the Gap 4,392
Healthy Homes 3,494
Total Program Expenses: $272,802
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Chief Executive : Gary Katz, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Cheri Smith
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Vice-President, Huntington Bank

Board Size: 13

Paid Staff Size: 4

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 16% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $10,398, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on CTO's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.

Source of Funds  
Government Contracts 233,828
Contributions, Gifts, Grants 8,945
Special Events, net 1,453
Total Income $244,226


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 94%  Fund Raising: 1%  Administrative: 5% 

Total income $244,226
Program expenses $272,802
Fund raising expenses 1,628
Administrative expenses 14,090
Total expenses $288,520
Expenses in Excess of Income (44,294)
Beginning net assets 50,515
Ending net assets 6,221
Total liabilities 34,913
Total assets $41,134

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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