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Up to a quarter-million Hoosiers are at risk of eviction with federal moratorium set to expire

Pandemic leads to financial crisis for many
Posted at 6:38 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 10:49:45-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers continue to struggle and fear eviction as the federal moratorium is set to expire in a few weeks. Nationwide last month, 9 million renters said they were behind on rent.

Right now, because of COVID-19, up to a quarter million Hoosiers are at risk of eviction. When the CDC national moratorium on evictions expires at the end of the month, experts say we could see anywhere from 40,000-80,000 households at immediate risk of eviction.

“The eviction crisis isn’t going away, and in fact, it’s about to crest again,” said Andrew Bradley, Prosperity Indiana policy director.

Bradley says if Congress doesn’t release additional rent relief, the state will soon have to make some hard decisions to prevent thousands of Hoosiers from becoming homeless come Jan. 1.

“We’ve heard about a plan that could provide $25 billion for rental assistance and that’s about a quarter of what we need to get through 2021,” he said. “So if our Indiana senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun, can be champions on those bills, then that could really make a difference for the at least 100,000 Hoosier families that are at risk of eviction.”

Bradley says up to a quarter million are behind on rent in our state because of unemployment or lost hours due to the pandemic, predicting multiple waves of evictions.

"Indiana historically has had a really high eviction rate compared to our neighbors in the Midwest and compared to the U.S. average. So there is definitely this pre-existing housing stability crisis really,” said Bradley.

Even worse, at risk is continuing the spread of the coronavirus, as people are forced out of their homes.

“It has a real danger to exacerbate the spread of the virus throughout the state and that ultimately just damages the economy and the public health for everyone,” Bradley said.

The estimated shortfall of rent [] in Indiana by January 2021 is between $152 and 284 million. About 17,000 [] households have been served by the Indiana COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Marion County’s program has served about an additional 12,200.