By Andrew Bradley
The Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition thanks Governor Holcomb for extending Indiana’s eviction moratorium through August 14, and for his willingness to continue extending the pause and adding resources to the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program as demand necessitates. The Coalition encourages Hoosiers in need to apply for assistance while resources are available and urges Indiana’s policymakers to make necessary progress towards housing stability before lifting the moratorium.
Governor Eric Holcomb officially extended the moratorium on residential evictions and foreclosures, which had previously been set to expire July 31, through Executive Order 20-39 until August 14, to align the expiration date with the existing moratorium on utility shutoffs. In the renewed order, landlords, tenants, lending institutions, and property owners are “strongly encouraged to work together to establish reasonable payment plans for past due rent or mortgage payments.” During his press briefing Wednesday announcing the extension, the Governor stated his willingness to add funding to Indiana’s $25 million rent assistance program and that it is too early to say whether the moratorium will be extended again.
Hoosier renters who have lost income due to the pandemic are encouraged to apply at IndianaHousingNow.org for non-Marion County residents, or at IndyRent.org for Marion County residents. While both programs have reached their initial estimated capacity, it is important for renters in need to apply to be added to the wait list and to demonstrate the demand for additional funds for these programs to policymakers. In addition, service providers, congregations, and other community-based organizations should make sure their members and clients are aware of this assistance. IHCDA has provided a Communications Toolkit with resources in English and Spanish, as well as Social Media Posts.
Before Governor Holcomb considers lifting the eviction moratorium, the Coalition urges him to ensure the state has met four measures on our Housing Stability Yardstick, including:
1.) Coordinate rent assistance programs to align all available funding streams. This includes stacking state and local funds and incentivizing philanthropic and private participation.
2.) Ensure equitable access to rental assistance program resources. Target outreach to highest cost burden areas and racial communities most impacted by public health, income and job loss, and housing instability.
3.) Appoint an Indiana Housing Security Task Force to advise on funding, outreach, and outcomes with expertise of landlords, impacted renters, public health and housing experts.
4.) Congress should provide adequate support for #RentReliefNow, with Indiana’s Congressional delegation as champions.
Meeting these measures will help ensure that 258,782 Hoosier renter households affected by the pandemic have the help they need to avoid eviction and potential homelessness. However, lifting the moratorium before meeting these measures would put Indiana at risk of regressing in its COVID-19 Back On Track Plan.
Please share this message with your networks. To join the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition and receive updates, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition:
Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition (HHNC) was formed by members of Indiana’s housing security advocacy community in April 2020 to support advocacy and education related to housing and homelessness prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staffed by Prosperity Indiana through advocacy and coalition building grants from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Central Indiana Community Foundation, HHNC convenes partners from across Indiana to advocate for immediate, medium- and long-term housing stability policy solutions and conduct education and research to achieve federal, state, and local policies for an equitable response and recovery to the pandemic and beyond.
The HHNC Steering Committee is comprised of members from AARP Indiana, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP), Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Indiana Institute for Working Families – INCAA, Prosperity Indiana, and The Ross Foundation.