City of Fort Wayne sees over 1k applicants for Emergency Rental Assistance program

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division launched it’s emergency rental assistance program Monday and received a large number of applications within the first 24 hours.

According to the Kelly Lundberg, director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services, there have been more than a thousand potential applicants that submitted information in the online portal. She added that at the initial look of the applications, the amount requested is lower than what the city anticipated. However, the city is hopeful to fund more than a thousand households.

The city received $8.1 million dollars to fund this program and it’s in partnership with Baker Tilly, Brightpoint, Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social services.

Catholic Charities’ mission advancement manager told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that during the pandemic, the organization has taken park in similar programs. However, one thing she noticed is the is an increase of people who traditionally never needed these type of services applying for assistance.

“We are seeing people from every socioeconomic branch come to us,” said Nicole Kurut. “COVID has not discriminated. It’s hitting everyone in different ways. I know some people are saying that there are lots of jobs out there, but we are continuing to help people until they can find a job in their skill set, in the meantime they need a little financial support.”

When WANE 15 originally posted this story, many viewers questioned about homeowners who are struggling to make ends meet.

“The state of Indiana offers a mortgage assistance program and I believe it’s up to $60 thousand in mortgage assistance,” Lundberg explained. “On the Indiana Housing and Development Association website you can find a link to that program on the information on how to apply.

The Emergency Rental Assistance program has been established for those struggling to pay rent and utility bills due to challenges from the ongoing pandemic.

This program is possible due to the city receiving $8.1 million in funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance program from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Residents who qualify must:

  • Rent within Fort Wayne City limits
  • Have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is $56,900 or less for a family of four
  • Be experiencing financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Eligible Assistance includes:

  • Past due rental payments and up to 3 months of future payments.
  • Past due utility bills (electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and other energy costs, such as fuel oil) for up to 12 months.

Those who are interested can apply on the city’s website or call 317-552-1463. Program staff will work down the list of applicants to help those who are eligible until there is no more available funding.

Other organizations like Brightpoint, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and Baker Tilly U.S. have also agreed to partner with the city to provide help to those who need additional assistance applying.

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