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Housing Advocates Call For Rental Help Ahead Of 'Eviction Cliff'

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Justin Hicks
/
IPB News

Indiana housing advocates say the Hoosier State faces a rental housing crisis with its eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of the month.

Those advocates argue the state needs a detailed plan and an extension of the moratorium.

They say many Hoosiers are still without help to pay their rent amid the COVID-19 crisis. Indiana 2-1-1 reports housing is now its top request for referrals and unmet needs. And new census data suggests black Hoosiers were three times more likely to be unable to pay May’s rent than white Hoosiers.

“Being evicted come July 1 will only further escalate the division, the trauma and violence within our communities,” says Dee Ross, Indianapolis Tenants Right Union founder.

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Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana executive director Amy Nelson says the coming “eviction cliff” will have long-term consequences for Hoosiers.

“Tenant screening companies will judge them more harshly in conducting future background checks due to having an eviction filed against them, forever impacting their ability to secure safe and affordable housing,” Nelson says.

Advocates say state and federal officials must create direct rental assistance and, potentially, a loan program to help rental owners.

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

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.