NewsPublic Affairs / August 24, 2020

With Moratorium Over, Housing Advocates Brace For Eviction 'Tsunami'

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Housing advocates say the state needs to invest significant resources into affordable housing solutions.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Housing advocates say the state needs to invest significant resources into affordable housing solutions.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Housing advocates are bracing for a “tsunami” of evictions after Indiana lifted its moratorium a little more than a week ago.

There’s no way to know exactly how many evictions have been filed, but a recent study estimates that as many as 720,000 Hoosiers could be at risk.

Indiana’s rental assistance program – which received more than 30,000 applications in just a month – ends Wednesday.

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LTHC Homeless Services President and CEO Jennifer Layton said she’s “petrified.”

“We are already in a homeless crisis," Layton said. "We already do not have enough housing for people that are experiencing homelessness.”

Layton says the real problem won’t be immediate. Many courts already have a case backlog that will prevent evictions from being processed. And she notes a lot of people, when evicted, can stay with friends or family – but only for a while. Then, Layton said, the “honeymoon” ends.

“We need permanent housing subsidies," Layton said. "We really need the federal government and our state government to really invest in large amounts of financial resources for affordable housing solutions for all people.”

The state announced it would create a free arbitration program to help mediate between landlords and renters. But that program isn’t available yet.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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