June 15, 2021

Indianapolis's Rental Assistance Program Still Going Strong

stock photo

stock photo

The city of Indianapolis is in the process of distributing nearly $100 million in rental assistance through its IndyRent program.

When the pandemic shut down hit, Indianapolis city officials and community partners knew rent assistance would be critical. Indianapolis Deputy Mayor of Community Development Jeff Bennett said they’ve been able to help everyone that needed it.

“Every single household that applied and was eligible, was approved and was paid,” Bennett said. “So no one was turned away because of lack of funds or because of some arbitrary deadline to spend money.”

To date nearly 20,000 households impacted financially by COVID-19 have had their rent paid by the city.

The program is funded with federal COVID-19 relief money. First came more than $33 million from the CARES Act.  Currently another $28.5 million is being distributed through CARES Act 2.   Another $33.5 million is expected from the American Rescue Plan.

IndyRent has had to adapt along the way.  Changes have been made in how the money is distributed either directly to renters or through landlords. The program has also evolved to add eligibility requirements.

Bennett said 2020 showed the need for long term rental aid in Indianapolis.

“So let’s make that robust and community wide and as easy to access as possible and let’s make that permanent,” Bennett said.

Support from the Lilly Endowment has helped administer the funds so the City can say every federal dollar was spent on rent.

The program is currently approving between $400,000 and $500,000 in assistance daily.

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