An estimated 93,000 Hoosier households are behind on their rent, yet less than 20 percent of them have received emergency rental assistance through state and local programs.
The Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition said Indiana needs what it calls an “all of government” approach to helping people avoid eviction. Prosperity Indiana policy director Andrew Bradley said that includes direct, community engagement.
“Partner with people on the ground to blanket the hardest hit areas … knock on doors, get information in hands,” Bradley said.
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The Housing Coalition’s recommendations include creating a toolkit for small organizations that has guidance for application assistance, direct outreach and marketing tools. It said the court system is key in helping connect people to resources. And providing the resources themselves – much of which was currently made possible through the Biden’s Administration’s American Rescue Plan – is vital.
But Bradley also said the response from the state hasn’t been proportional to the problem. He and other housing advocates, for instance, called for a task force on the issue last year, which never happened.
“You know, not to be too pointed about it, but have you ever seen Gov. [Eric] Holcomb tweet that emergency rental assistance is available?” Bradley said.
Housing remains by far the biggest need that people request help for when they call Indiana 211.