Prosperity Indiana is pleased to announce an award totaling $50,000 from National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) to support advocacy and education related to housing and homelessness prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will increase capacity for Prosperity Indiana to convene partners to advocate for short-term housing stability policy solutions and conduct longer-term education and research to achieve federal, state and local policies for an equitable response and recovery to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically rearranged the advocacy world in Indiana, quickly turning priorities upside-down across the housing and community economic development landscape. The pandemic has had disproportionate impact on Hoosiers by demographic groups, including people of color, and many of the counties hardest hit by COVID-19 also have the highest rates of rental housing instability and homelessness.
Since the outbreak first emerged, Prosperity Indiana has worked with partners and policymakers to ensure that the most vulnerable Hoosier families and the organizations that serve them are kept as safe as possible. On March 25, Prosperity Indiana thanked Governor Holcomb for heeding our call to protect Hoosier renters from dangerous expansion of retaliatory evictions in SEA 148 and for signing an executive order pausing residential evictions during the public health emergency.
The grant from NLIHC will allow Prosperity Indiana to expand on our advocacy response to the pandemic to date. Because the pause on evictions is currently set to expire on May 5, Prosperity Indiana recommended, on behalf of a newly forming housing coalition, that Indiana take steps to go further to protect Hoosier renters by extending the moratoriums to match those on federal leases; pairing federal and state resources to work with communities to provide emergency rental assistance; and use market-based tools to reimburse landlords who do not evict tenants after the public health emergency is lifted. Prosperity Indiana looks forward to using this new grant to bring together partners from the housing and anti-homelessness community across Indiana to research and educate policymakers about effective medium- and longer-term responses to the pandemic.
“We are thankful to NLIHC for this grant that will allow us to build on our policy recommendations to prevent homelessness during the peak of this pandemic by working with partners across the state to protect housing stability and avoid a wave of evictions, once the emergency orders are lifted,” said Jessica Love, Executive Director of Prosperity Indiana.
“Now is the time to pair federal and state funds with community and private resources to ensure that Hoosiers are safe at home throughout the public health crisis and beyond. We want to do more than just survive this life-altering event. If we use this time to create the needed policy structures, housing stability for all Hoosiers shifts from becoming a possibility to a reality long-term,” Love said.
Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has used its broad membership base to help Hoosiers meet their basic needs, preserve and expand affordable housing, and connect individuals and families to education, employment, and economic opportunity. The organization is known for its role as a convener and advocacy voice in Indiana’s community development landscape and has established its presence as an authority on housing and community development policy.