The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) announced today that the agency will pause accepting new applications for the Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance (IERA) Program beginning Friday, July 29, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET.
With estimates that nearly all the federal emergency rental assistance allocated by the U.S. Department of Treasury to the State of Indiana has been requested, it is anticipated the IERA funds will soon be fully obligated.
To date, IHCDA has paid and obligated $365 million to more than 29,000 Hoosier households. In accordance with Treasury guidelines, Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs can pay three months of forward-facing rent at one time. When a household is deemed eligible for assistance, IHCDA pays qualifying arrearages and late fees, plus three months of forward-facing rent and utilities, and reserves any remaining months of assistance for that household. Should they have a continued need for assistance, eligible households can recertify and receive another three months of forward-facing rent, up to a total of 18 months.
“Through the Emergency Rental Assistance program, we have been able to provide housing stability to more than 29,000 Indiana households,” said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director of IHCDA. “We are appreciative of the federal dollars that were able to keep thousands of Hoosiers in their homes during the pandemic. IHCDA remains committed to providing housing stability for Hoosiers as we recover from the pandemic.”
IHCDA will continue to issue payments to those households already approved for an IERA benefit up to the maximum allowable benefit of 18 months. IHCDA will also continue to process applications currently in queue and reserve available funds until funds are fully obligated. IHCDA estimates it has approximately $80 million remaining in unobligated funding. Applications currently in queue, and those that IHCDA anticipates receiving prior to the deadline, will likely fully obligate the remaining funds. In order to ensure there is funding available to assist those households with pending applications, IHCDA will close the IERA application portal and focus on processing and distributing benefits to those households that have applied. After the portal is closed, Hoosiers can sign up to receive updates through indianahousingnow.org if the Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance Portal re-opens.
To continue providing housing stability for Hoosiers, IHCDA has partnered with the Indiana Bar Foundation, Inc. (IBF) and the Indiana Community Action Association, Inc. (IN-CAA) to provide legal services and housing counseling and case management services to Hoosiers facing housing instability. These services will remain available for Hoosiers after the IERA application portal closes.
IBF was awarded $13.1M to provide legal services to Hoosier renters. IBF’s legal aid network will be assisting Hoosier renters facing eviction with legal services including education, legal representation, and mediation between landlords and tenants. IBF’s network of legal will also be using a newly enacted Indiana law to assist eligible households in sealing past evictions. Additionally, IBF plans to install “legal kiosks” in community spaces across Indiana. Legal kiosks will provide computers with specialized software and printers to allow clients to connect with legal navigators, complete forms and receive virtual legal guidance. Hoosiers in need of legal aid may go to indianalegalhelp.org.
IN-CAA was awarded $15M to provide housing counseling and case management services for low-income Hoosiers. This includes housing navigation services to assist individuals who have already been evicted, are in process of being evicted, or are experiencing homelessness to find new rental housing options and financial education. Those in need of housing counseling may call 2-1-1 for the name of a provider in their area.