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Indianapolis Housing Agency halts mass evictions

Posted at 10:29 PM, Aug 13, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The moratorium on evictions in Indiana expires on Friday so that means Hoosiers who were unable to pay their rent the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic are at risk of being evicted.

On Thursday, the Indianapolis Housing Agency approved a proposal to prevent mass evictions in Indianapolis.

Thousands of people just in the city of Indianapolis are at risk of being kicked out of their homes starting Friday. The IHA Board of Commissioners voted to try to stop that.

"Times right now are very tough," Leslie Allen, a resident, said.

Tough for many of us, especially those who lost jobs or had pay cuts because of COVID-19. With the state's moratorium on evictions expiring on Friday that puts literally hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers who were unable to pay their rent the past few months potentially on the streets.

"Already we've got a lot of homeless out here and you've got families with illness, families with kids," Allen said. "Where are they going to go? Their jobs are closed down. What are we going to do? We are crying for help."

For those who live at one of the 13 Indianapolis Housing Agency properties in Marion County, which is about 2,000 families right now, IHA is offering them a repayment agreement plan rather than facing immediate eviction.

"We don't want to file these mass evictions if we're able to," John Hall, IHA's executive director, said. "We would like to provide stable housing for our residents so that they can focus on employment and not having to worry about a place to call home."

"They are worried about job, their income, they're worried about food, they're worried about their children," Bonita Davis said. "So the last thing that they need to be worried about now is having a roof that's going to be snatched from over their heads."

Currently, 900 households are behind on rent, according to IHA, which translates to nearly $1 million. For those who have been impacted by the pandemic, you may also qualify to have your rent lowered by completing a change of income form.

"They'll give you a break and look out for you. that's what I like about them," Eugene Riley, a resident, said. "They try to talk to you. They try to work with you. That's what I like."

Families struggling right now just trying to survive.

"I am begging. I am pleading," Allen said. "I'm a 61-year-old breast cancer survivor. My daughter is battling breast cancer. She signed up for their rental assistance and thank God that she has gotten approved. And I just know that we are going to get through this."

The Office of Public Health and Safety has also outlined programs and organizations assisting renters and homeowners struggling to make their monthly payments right now.