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IndyRent program temporarily pausing applications

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dwindling federal dollars caused Indianapolis officials to temporarily pause the IndyRent program, which originally launched in 2020 and reopened as an eviction prevention-focused program in April.

Applicants have until noon on June 26 to get their applications in. Tenant applications submitted before that time will still be processed.

“It’s important for people. The program has been running since the pandemic started and has given out nearly 200 million dollars in assistance to over 68,000 individuals,” said Melissa Benton, the Community Development Officer for the John Boner Community Centers.

The John Boner Community Centers administers the IndyRent program. She said federal dollars can only go so far to solve a housing problem that has existed since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lack of quality, safe, and affordable housing that’s available to people. I think it’s housing that is priced far above fair market value, I think it’s people that only have access to jobs that don’t pay a living wage, and I think it’s a lack of transportation.”

The John Boner Community Centers own 250 units of affordable housing throughout the city, but solving the expensive housing situation goes further than just putting a roof over someone’s head.

“Each of the community centers across the city of Indianapolis have a really robust workforce development program. That piece of making sure people are in a job that pays a living wage so that they are able to pay rent is really important,” said Benton.

There are other programs in place to help those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage that people can take advantage of.