Indiana’s reopening plan is stuck in park after Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday the state won’t move forward for at least another month.
Stage 4.5 – in place since the beginning of July – restricts restaurants to 75 percent capacity and limits bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues to 50 percent. Gatherings of any kind are restricted to 250 people, unless there’s approval from a local health department.
Holcomb said he doesn’t see the need to reimpose past restrictions – like closing bars and nightclubs – but stressed the importance of local leaders (and even individual businesses) enforcing compliance.
“For every 10 that are doing the right thing, if one doesn’t enforce these guidelines at the local level – at the individual business or social gathering – it can ruin it for a much greater area,” Holcomb said.
Holcomb’s latest extension of Stage 4.5 runs through Aug. 27.
What About Evictions and Foreclosures?
Hoosier renters and homeowners will be shielded from evictions and foreclosures for another couple of weeks. Holcomb announced Wednesday he’s extending his eviction and foreclosure moratorium through Aug. 14.
He emphasized, though, that those who have struggled with payments need to work with their landlords and mortgage holders.
“We do want to make sure, however, in the next couple weeks here that folks are making payment plans,” Holcomb said.
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Indiana’s rental assistance program opened in July and already received more than 20,000 applications – more than the state anticipated it could serve. Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority director Jacob Sipe said, however, the state isn’t the only option.
“Community foundations, some of our not-for-profits and our trustees also provide assistance with rental and home ownership and utility assistance,” Sipe said.
Holcomb said the state will find resources for its rental assistance program if the initial funding is exhausted.
The governor also said he won’t let a new lawsuit affect future decision-making over potential further extensions of the eviction moratorium. A group of landlords recently sued Holcomb in federal court, alleging the moratorium violates their constitutional rights. Holcomb said he’s confident of his legal standing.