INDIANAPOLIS — Starting next month, Hoosiers who have lost jobs or income due to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive monthly rental assistance.

If accepted, renters could get up to $500 per month for four months to help cover their rent cost.

On Wednesday, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority Director Jacob Sipe announced details of the new program that will be open to applications starting July 13.

Hoosiers who have involuntarily lost their job, had their hours reduced or their pay reduced could be eligible for the assistance. Their household income must be less than what it was on March 6 and renters cannot have previously received rental assistance or be on assistance programs including Section 8 housing vouchers or USDA rental assistance in order to quality.

If accepted, renters can get $500 per month for up to four months for a total benefit of $2,000. The money can be used to pay past-due rent from April 1 or later or to pay ongoing rental expenses.

Landlords have to agree to participate in the program and, if they do, payments will be made directly to the landlord.

“We anticipate serving 12,000 Indiana household renters,” Sipe said, noting that Indiana has earmarked $25 million in federal CARES Act money toward the program.

Applications will be available online at indianahousingnow.org starting July 13.

Gov. Eric Holcomb had signed an executive order earlier in Indiana’s response to COVID-19 barring landlords from evicting tenants who fell behind on rental payments, in light of significant job and income losses due to the virus and the state’s stay-at-home order in response to it.

On Wednesday, Holcomb noted that he planned to extend that moratorium on rental evictions when the current order expires in July.

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