Today a group of 17 Hoosier housing providers and housing security advocates joined Prosperity Indiana in sending a letter to Senator Todd Young, asking him to urge the Senate to include $100 billion in emergency rental assistance in the next coronavirus response stimulus bill. This request for the Senator’s leadership around this widespread national concern would address the estimated housing assistance need for more than 200,000 of Indiana’s lowest income renter households affected by the crisis.
The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to continue to cause great financial harm to businesses, workers, and communities in Indiana for the foreseeable future. Since the passage of the CARES Act, an additional 245,194 Hoosiers have filed for unemployment, at a rate more than 4000% higher than a year before. Estimates show that Indiana may lose over 400,000 total jobs due to the pandemic and reach an unemployment rate of 15 percent by July. Nearly a third of tenants did not pay rent in the first week of April, according to national estimates. These indicators are a clear sign that additional government action will be needed to ensure people remain in their homes rather than overwhelm the homeless system.
Estimates from the National Low Income Housing Coalition find that 205,837 extremely low-income and very low-income Hoosier renter households will need to be assisted with short-term rental assistance, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic after-effects. With an average cost of $6,494 per affected household, Indiana’s total annual cost of meeting unmet rental assistance needs will be $1.34 billion. While it will take Hoosiers #INthistogether to address the state’s response, Congress must come through to meet Indiana’s short term emergency rental assistance needs.
This is why an estimated $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to avoid a financial cliff for renters – once eviction moratoria are lifted and back-rent is owed – and ensure the continued viability of our country’s essential affordable housing infrastructure. This direct rental assistance could ultimately prevent the current public health and economic crisis from morphing into a broad-scale financial market collapse like we saw in 2008.
Senator Young needs to hear from you regarding the reasons housing security is essential for Hoosiers throughout the pandemic. Click here to add your name to the letter calling on Senator Young to champion emergency rental assistance for Hoosiers.
_____________State-level estimates provided by the authors of “NLIHC Research Note: The Need for Emergency Rental Assistance During the COVID-19 and Economic Crisis,” April 13, 2020.