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Rent assistance program to reopen April 5

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Applications for the city’s rent assistance program will reopen April 5 with about $30 million available.

Eligible households can receive up to three months of assistance, including a combination of back rent to April 1, 2020, and future rent. Learn more and apply at indyrent.org.

Even though applications aren’t open yet, tenants should still enter their contact information on the waitlist because those on the list will be the first ones who have an opportunity to apply.

The U.S. Department of Treasury defines eligible recipients as households that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship because of COVID-19;
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
  • Has a household income at or below 80% of the area median.

The program has distributed $33.8 million in rent assistance to 15,949 households, according to the city. Applications closed in early December 2020, and there was a delay in reopening applications because of shifting guidance from the federal government.

Funding for the next round of rent assistance will come from the second COVID-19 stimulus passed in December 2020. The city expects to receive more funding through the recently passed American Rescue Plan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently extended the national eviction moratorium through June 30.

The ban applies to those who earn less than $99,000 a year and couples who make under $198,000. Renters also have to attest on a declaration to their landlord that they can’t afford their rent and that being evicted could result in them becoming homeless or living with others.

Landlords have filed for about 12,700 evictions in Indianapolis since March 15, 2020, according to Eviction Lab. The vast majority of those filings came after the state lifted its eviction moratorium in mid-August.

Indianapolis ranks among the worst cities when it comes to the number of evictions landlords file.

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