Marion County rental assistance program available to residents Monday

Marion County residents can begin applying for rental assistance beginning next week, Indianapolis officials said Wednesday.

Last month, the city announced it had set aside $15 million of its federal Coronavirus Relief Funds for rental assistance that will help residents catch up with late rent obligations.

The program was bolstered with about $3 million the Lilly Endowment is contributing directly to rental assistance and $5 million to cover some of the administrative costs associated with it.

Residents whose income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive up to three months of assistance, which will be paid directly to their landlord.

Numerous organizations, including the Indianapolis Urban League, Indianapolis Public Library, community centers and others, are working together to help residents apply for the assistance.

The application is available at indyrent.org and will be live Monday. Indianapolis Public Library sites are open and ready to help residents who don’t have access to a computer or Internet or need assistance applying.

Landlords will need to fill out an application in conjunction with their tenants. Once both applications are complete, they’ll be processed and approved by the Indianapolis Community Response Network and funds will be delivered directly to landlords.

Deputy Mayor Jeff Bennett said Wednesday the $15 million likely won’t be enough to meet all needs and more funding could be directed to rental assistance if necessary.

Mayor Joe Hogsett called the program one of the largest city-focused rental assistance efforts in the country. The program is expected to help between 7,000 and 11,000 households.

“COVID has impacted families in the city of Indianapolis and throughout Marion County in ways that are unprecedented. Frankly unprecedented in the entire nation,” he said. “Our response must likewise be unprecedented.”

The program is available to only Marion County residents. The state has its own program serving the other 91 counties. Details about the state program are available here.

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