INDIANAPOLIS – As many as 12,000 Indiana households could be helped with much-needed rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic beginning next month, after the state announced a new program Wednesday afternoon.
The Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program will use $25 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Hoosier families in 91 counties. The program will not be active in Marion County, which has its own separate $15 million rental assistance program.
The program will provide up to $500 in rental assistance for four months, with a maximum of $2,000 to help cover past and ongoing rent payments or late fees.
“This has been a very challenging time for Hoosiers, and the economic impacts of COVID-19 has left some renters in a tough spot,” Holcomb said. “The Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program will support our renters, improve our state’s housing stability and help prevent evictions as the state gets back on track.”
To be eligible, renters must meet the following criteria:
- Lost their job or part of their income due to COVID-19
- Current household income, including unemployment, is less than the household income on March 6
- Have not received rental assistance from another source
The household’s landlord must agree to the assistance, meaning an otherwise eligible person could be out of luck if their landlord declines. The payments will be made directly to the landlords.
Applications will open at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 13 on indianahousingnow.org.
Dr. Woody Myers, a former Indiana State Health Commissioner and Holcomb’s Democratic opponent in the 2020 governor race, criticized the announcement.
“Hoosier renters are facing an unprecedented eviction cliff and rent is due in seven days,” Myers said. “With his announcement today in requiring landlord permission for renters’ participation in the program, Governor Holcomb may as well have signed their eviction orders himself.”