City sets Wednesday deadline for pandemic rental assistance applications

Marion County renters facing hardship due to the pandemic have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to apply for the city’s rental assistance program.

The city of Indianapolis announced Monday afternoon that the application process will close because the deadline for spending federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Funds is approaching.

Landlords, who are required to agree to participate in the program in order for tenants to be eligible, will have until 5 p.m. Dec. 9 to complete their portion of the application.

The program, which first opened in July to help tenants who had fallen behind on rent payments avoid eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic, has helped more than 12,000 households.

To date, more than $26 million in rental assistance has been approved for 12,202 households, the city reported.

The city said it expects to spend the full $30 million set aside for the program.

Indianapolis received $168 million in federal CARES Act dollars in April to help fight the pandemic. In its first appropriation of the funding, the city dedicated $15 million to rental relief, which was bolstered by an additional $3 million from the Lilly Endowment. In the past several months, even more money was added to the program as the city warned the funding wouldn’t be enough to meet demand.

CARES Act dollars must be distributed by the end of the year or they revert back to the federal government.

Mayor Joe Hogsett and his administration have repeatedly called on Congress to approve more aid for programs like the rental assistance program.

“The Rental Assistance Program has made a tangible difference for thousands of Indianapolis families,” Hogsett said in written comments. “But we know the need is greater than what we can offer with the existing CARES Act funds. We continue to implore Congress to step up and make sure homeowners, renters, business owners and workers are protected from financial ruin.”

Individuals who have already applied for aid can check the status of their application by calling 317-912-1260 or by emailing indyrent@jbncenters.org.

Residents who miss the Dec. 2 application deadline can submit their name and contact information to receive information in the event additional funding is available for rental assistance in the future.

To apply, visit indyrent.org.

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