In letter, Campbell urges governor to provide extension as rental assistance portal closes

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INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, State Representative Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) sent a letter to Governor Eric Holcomb requesting an extension for critical housing support, pending today's closure of the Rental Assistance Program portal.

The federally-funded state rental assistance program began on July 13 to assist Hoosiers struggling with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 30,000 households submitted applications in the first week and since then, the program has been averaging 3,000 to 4,000 new applications weekly. As of now, the rental assistance application portal is set to close on August 26 at 11:59 p.m.

Read the full letter below.

 


 

August 25, 2020

The Honorable Eric Holcomb
Governor, the State of Indiana
200 W. Washington St., Room 206
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Dear Governor Holcomb:

In the wake of a global pandemic that has affected many lives across the state of Indiana, I am extremely concerned about the inevitable increase of evictions. After the eviction moratorium was lifted two weeks ago, it raised serious concerns about the number of Hoosiers that could be at risk. In particular, the Indiana's Rental Assistance Program which began on July 13 that will come to an end tomorrow—a program that thousands of Hoosiers have relied on this past month and many more to come. I am very apprehensive about this decision and long-term issues it will create, in addition to the number of people facing homelessness we will see in the coming days and months.

Over 30,000 applications were received in the first week, while an average over 3,000 to 4,000 new applications were submitted in following weeks. Due to the high number of applications, there is a substantial risk of the process being delayed for many tenants. I believe it is unfair to limit the number of individuals who may need assistance in the future due to the lack of funds distributed to the program. A recent study estimates that as many as 720,000 Hoosiers could be at risk. It is unfortunate that the State of Indiana is failing to support those who are in need of help. The conclusion of this program also forces homeless shelters to rush and prepare for an excessive number of people expected to flood these places.

We are facing a mass eviction crisis, and now is the time to act. The state of Indiana needs to invest more financial and operational resources to help the Hoosiers. No one should fear the possibility of being evicted while our government sits on billions of dollars in federal relief funds. I strongly urge you to consider a continuation of rental assistance to the Hoosiers in need while accounting for the lack of distribution of COVID-19 federal funds.

Sincerely,

Chris Campbell
State Representative
Indiana House District 26

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