IN LETTER, ANDRADE AND PACK URGE GOVERNOR TO EXPEDITE RENTAL ASSISTANCE TO HOOSIERS FACING EVICTION
INDIANAPOLIS - Yesterday, State Representatives Mike Andrade (D-Munster) and Renee Pack (D-Indianapolis), sent a letter to Governor Holcomb urging the creation of a more effective and efficient rental assistance program to distribute federal funding to Hoosiers in need.
In the letter, they outline the importance of spending the remaining $544 million of the $844.9 million total federal dollars distributed to the state before the funding expires and must be sent back to the federal government.
The latest numbers from the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition show that 83% of those who qualify for relief have not yet applied.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure Hoosiers are aware of and have access to resources that will prevent them from losing stable housing,” Andrade said, “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we must do everything possible to prevent another public health crisis from growing-homelessness.”
In light of the increasing eviction rates putting more Hoosiers at risk for homelessness, Andrade and Pack urged the Governor to create a task force that would get funding to those who need it most.
“We have the technology and funds to address this crisis, the longer we wait, the more Hoosiers families will continue to needlessly suffer,” Pack added.
Read the full letter below:
September 29, 2021
The Honorable Eric Holcomb
Governor, the State of Indiana
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Since the national eviction moratorium has ended, we have watched as eviction filings across Indiana increase daily. Our court system is overwhelmed and Hoosiers are at risk of losing their places of residence. We are writing you to urge the creation of a more effective and efficient rental assistance program to get funding into the hands of Hoosiers who need it.
The IndyStar reported the state still has $544 million of the $844.9 million dollars of federal aid to distribute, and we may lose the funding if it is not dispersed. Renters across the state may be eligible for a full year of rental assistance but many households are simply unaware of the funding. The latest numbers from Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition show that 83% of those who qualify have not yet applied.
Studies show that Hoosiers in smaller, more rural counties are among the least likely to be receiving aid. Black and Hispanic communities face the risk of eviction at a higher rate than others. All while the state is holding onto $544 million which could be distributed to provide assistance.
Indianapolis was able to use pre-existing connections with local government and non-profit workers to promote the IndyRent program and handle applications. The city has assisted renters at a faster rate than the state and provides an excellent model for Indiana to follow for its aid distribution.
Similar to the Indianapolis approach, the Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition provides a step-by-step guide for the creation of an 'All Government Approach' which includes working with all levels of government to notify the public of the available funding and how to distribute funds to the areas that need it the most. The guide has been available on their website since September 8th, 2021.
We have the technology to pinpoint communities who would benefit from this assistance. We have the funds to set up an efficient taskforce to distribute money to those in need. The longer we wait to get this assistance to those who need it, the greater the risk of eviction becomes for thousands of Hoosiers.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this matter. Please utilize all resources at your disposal to help Hoosiers stave off evictions and stay in their homes. We look forward to hearing from your about this matter soon and let us know if we can be of any assistance.
Mike Andrade Renee Pack
State Representative State Representative
District 12 District 92