INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city’s rental assistance program has paid out $3.5 million so far to people struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a representative for the mayor.
IndyRent.org launched July 13 and suspended applications a week later after receiving more than 10,000 requests. The program remains shut down while the pending applications are processed. The mayor said at the launch that he expected 7,000 to 11,000 households to get up to three months of rental help.
Taylor Schaffer, deputy chief of staff for Mayor Joe Hogsett, said in an email response Thursday to News 8, “Currently these partners are processing between 400 and 500 completed applications per day and will exceed 4,000 applications reviewed by early next week.”
Schaffer said city leadership will meet with the program partners Friday to discuss the next steps, which include outreach to landlords who haven’t yet responded. The program partners on Friday also will discuss how to serve people on the waiting list and reopen the application process.
The City-County Council on June 8 approved $79 million in spending to recover from the coronavirus pandemic; that total included $15 million for the rental assistance from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In addition to the federal money, the Lilly Endowment has committed up to $10 million.
The John H. Boner Neighborhood Center is running the program through a contract with the city. The center is using the Indianapolis Community Response Network to review applications, talk with residents, and distribute the funds. The network includes Christamore House, Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE), Concord Neighborhood Center, Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center, Flanner House, Hawthorne Community Center, Indianapolis Urban League, the MLK Center, La Plaza, Edna Martin Christian Center, Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center and Southeast Community Services.
Tenants could apply at Indyrent.org. After tenants apply, their landlords or property managers need to fill out another part of the tenants’ applications. Then, the program partners will review the applications.
During the state’s coronavirus briefing Wednesday, the state extended the moratorium on evictions from rental properties and the prohibition on filing foreclosures through Aug. 14. That’s the same date the state has put a restriction on utilities’ ability to disconnect service for nonpayment.
Hoosiers in all counties but Marion County who are struggling to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19 can apply online for possible rental assistance. Applications for $25 million in the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program have been accepted online since July 13 at IndianaHousingNow.org. The state’s program has yet to pay out any funds.
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