State reopens rental assistance portal with new stream of funds

The state has reopened its rental assistance program with a new stream of funding that comes with stricter eligibility requirements.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority is using $15 million in Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer up to six months of rent to Hoosiers who are at high risk of facing homelessness.

The goal is to keep individuals in stable housing so they may move through the pandemic without further future damage, the authority said.

Federal Emergency Solutions Grant funding is typically used for homelessness prevention efforts.

The rental assistance portal is now reopened and accepting applications. Funding can go toward past-due or future rent.

The funding comes in addition to $40 million of the state’s federal coronavirus relief funds that were reserved for rental assistance. The application portal has been closed since the end of August.

Whereas previous eligibility requirements were pretty basic (applicants had to live outside of Marion County, where a separate program operated, and had to show a loss of income from an involuntary job layoff, reduced work hours or reduced pay due to the pandemic), the ESG funds come with stricter requirements.

To be considered for the funds, applicants must live in a household with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income and they must have received a notice to vacate or notice of eviction because of their inability to pay rent.

Marion County residents are not eligible to apply for the state’s program. An applicant’s landlord must agree to participate in the program. Residents who have already received some sort of rental assistance may not be eligible for the program.

There is no minimum or maximum amount of rental assistance an eligible household can receive through the ESG-CV program. The amount of assistance will depend on the applicant’s income and financial situation.

At this time, there is no application due date. The portal will remain open until all available funding has been obligated to eligible households.

To apply, visit indianahousingnow.org.

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