Indiana COVID-19 rental assistance program ends Wednesday

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE) – Some Indiana senators are calling on Governor Eric Holcomb to extend the rental assistance program.

The Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program was created a few months ago after many Hoosiers fell on hard times due to the pandemic. It gives up to $500 a month in rent for four months. The program ends tomorrow.

Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane said if Governor Holcomb doesn’t extend the program, thousands of Hoosiers will end up on the street.

Lanane said the program can continue to be funded by the $1 billion still available in the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.

“The COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program has been an incredibly popular program that has protected Hoosiers from homelessness,” he wrote in a letter to Holcomb. “There have been over 30,000 applications to the program since it opened, nearly triple what your administration anticipated. It’s clear that if more funds were allocated toward keeping this program open, then this assistance would be put to good use.”

In Monroeville, a waitress named Samantha Root is trying to beat the deadline, but is stuck in her application process. She needs her landlord, Amy Cox of Silverton Estates, to complete a reference for her to be accepted.

Cox has said no. Instead, she’s going to evict Root.

Cox said hey won’t complete the process for because Root is more than four months behind rent. So the government assistance would not cover all her debt. Secondly, she said Root has caused “drama” in the neighborhood and they no longer want her to live there.

“Even with the $2,000 in rental assistance she would still be further than that behind,” said Cox. “I do feel bad for her situation. It’s just that we can’t just not get rent money either.”

Root used her stimulus check to pay rent back in March, but has struggled since then. In these trying times of the pandemic, she says she and her three kids need the rental assistance help desperately.

“I would be able to get back to work and get my bills caught up and stay in our home and not have to uproot and live with somebody,” said Root. “It is nerve-wracking because I don’t know whats going to happen. I want to keep my home. I want to have a fair shot to pay.”

Both Root and Cox will appear in court concerning the eviction on September 11.

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