INDIANAPOLIS — Tammy Grant’s son and his family are at risk of being evicted. “They’re only a month behind,” she said. “He got laid off. He had to find another job. They’re doing the best they can do.”
Their story is not unlike many others in Indiana, also facing eviction. “There were already about a quarter million Hoosier households that were at risk of eviction because they were behind on rent due to the pandemic,” said Andrew Bradley with Prosperity Indiana. “About 80,000 households that would’ve been an immediate risk of eviction had that current extension not happened.”
But because President Biden extended the CDC national moratorium on evictions through the end of March and potentially through September, renters may not be forced out of their homes just yet.
“The moratorium by itself is not the answer to the problem,” said Bradley. “It’s really a Band-Aid for a wound and you have to be able to clean out and heal the wound before you can have true healing.”
Bradley is hopeful, though. In the president’s proposal for the next COVID relief package, an additional $30 billion would be given to rent and utility relief. That’s more than double than what was just passed.
“That gives the state of Indiana a little bit of time to be able to design and begin to implement the $448 million coming our way from the most current recent congressional relief package,” he said.
But the problem is, according to Bradley, “There are many renters that don’t even know about the requirements of this moratorium. They don’t know that there’s a form that they have to sign and there are certain standards that they have to meet about losing income due to the pandemic.”
This lack awareness, combined with the mounting $350 million dollars owed in back rent due to the pandemic, is putting pressure on landlords to come up with the cash. Many are still trying to evict tenants.
“We’ve done what we have to do. We’ve sent him the letter from the CDC,” said Grant. “We submitted that to him two days ago. He is aware of that. And I can’t imagine why someone would throw three of my grandkids out.”
We have compiled a list of resources that help with rental assistance and people facing eviction: