Indianapolis to reopen rental assistance program

IndyRent Assistance Portal on July 16, 2020. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The city will reopen a rental assistance program first created in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Before shutting down last year, the program distributed $33.8 million to 15,949 households, the city said Monday in a news release.

Beginning April 5, the city will offer more than $30 million from the December 2020 federal coronavirus relief package and from the city government.

“Shifting federal guidance created delays in the reopening of the program, which closed to applicants on December 2, 2020,” the news release said.

Access to applications and additional info is available at indyrent.org

News release

“INDIANAPOLIS – Today the City of Indianapolis announced that the application for the Rental Assistance Program would reopen on Monday, April 5. The announcement came as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the federal eviction moratorium would be extended through June.

“‘The Rental Assistance Program has already aided thousands of Indianapolis families in their time of need,’ said Mayor Joe Hogsett. ‘Today’s announcement will extend resources to thousands more, helping reduce a major economic stressor and boosting housing stability.’

“Access to applications and additional info is available at indyrent.org. Tenants are encouraged to submit their contact information to the waitlist currently on the site, as those on the list will have the first opportunities to apply. Eligible households may receive up to three months of assistance, including a combination of back rent dating back to April 1, 2020 (including late fees) or future rent.

“So far, the program has distributed $33.8 million in rental assistance to 15,949 households. The more than $30 million in funding available on April 5 is a combination of money from the second federal COVID relief package passed in December 2020 and an appropriation by the City of Indianapolis in January 2021. Shifting federal guidance created delays in the reopening of the program, which closed to applicants on December 2, 2020.

“The U.S. Department of Treasury has defined eligible recipients as renter households in which one or more individuals meets the following criteria: ‘qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.’

“The City expects to receive additional rental assistance funding through the passage of the American Rescue Plan earlier this month, though estimates are not yet available.

“Indianapolis residents impacted by COVID-19 should visit the City of Indianapolis resource guide, which can be viewed at indy.gov/covid. Spanish speaking residents can view the Resource Guide here. Individuals who are unable to navigate the city’s website can call 317-327-4MAC between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to talk to a customer service representative.”

News release from Mark Bode, communications director, Office of Mayor Joe Hogsett-City of Indianapolis