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Housing crisis to be showcased in upcoming documentary

Housing crisis showcased in upcoming documentary

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Documenting the housing crisis is the Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance‘s game plan to spark action in the legislature. Representatives say addressing the problem isn’t easy, but it is simple.

Marion County in any given week sees 400 to 600 eviction filings. Poor communities, women, Black and brown communities are often on the receiving end. Rabbi Aaron Spiegel says housing is a serious social justice issue that needs attention right now.

Indiana ranks second in the nation when it comes to evictions. New York takes the number one spot. Advocates say lack of housing is the top problem when it comes to social determinants of health.

“It is a plague on our country. This is not an Indiana problem. This is a national problem,” said Spiegel.

Spiegel is the executive director of GIMA. When looking at social justice issues, they found out it’s reach impacting communities in every corner of the county and people of different income levels.

“We’re not going after all landlords. We’re going after a small subset, mostly out of state, hedge fund owner, investor landlords. Who just do not address habitability issues,” said Spiegel. “We want to show both the conditions some people are forced to live in, and stories of people who have been through the evictions process.”

GIMA is in the process of developing a documentary, gathering personal stories from people impacted and speaking with groups trying to help, all with the focus of shifting legislators focus, hoping they’ll enact measures to improve the odds.

“As we move into the next general assembly, one of the biggest problems that I see is public awareness. People don’t know what’s going on, both about the conditions that some tenants live in, and that they have no recourse.”

Spiegel says legislators know how to fix the problem, but need the bravery to step out and make change happen.

“It’s a social justice issue. It’s certainly a religious issue of every face that I know of that we have to take care of the least of us,” said Spiegel.