IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

From Jake's Desk

IHCDA COVID-19 update: A message from Jake

I would like to take a few minutes to update you on the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. As I shared a couple weeks ago, Indiana will be receiving over $440 million in emergency rental assistance funding through the new federal COVID-19 Relief Bill.

The ERA program is being administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury and they requested that state and qualifying local units of government submit their applications for ERA funds by January 12th. The State of Indiana and several Indiana counties and cities with a population of 200,000 or greater applied prior to this deadline. When I receive confirmation which Indiana municipalities will receive a direct allocation of ERA, I will be sure to provide you with an update along with their amount awarded. 

In addition to waiting on the funds to be disbursed by the U.S. Department of Treasury, we also need additional guidance before we can finalize the new program policy and begin accepting applications. Much of this needed guidance can be found in a joint letter issued by a group of 12 national housing associations last week.

It is important to note that this program is different from previous COVID-19 rental assistance programs offered in Indiana. Therefore, anyone that needs rental assistance, and not currently receiving it from another source, should consider applying to this new program if they meet the eligibility requirements.

An “eligible household” under the ERA program is defined by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meets the following criteria:

  • Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19
  • Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median

We are committed to implementing the ERA program for Hoosier renters impacted by the pandemic and experiencing housing instability as quickly as possible. We will be sharing a draft of the ERA program policy as well as providing an opportunity for the public to submit written comments in the coming weeks. We will review and consider all comments received prior to finalizing the policy.

I encourage anyone interested in the ERA program to subscribe and receive updates at www.indianahousingnow.org. We will communicate more information about this program to individuals subscribed to receive these updates once it is available.

Earlier this week IHCDA had the privilege of sponsoring the Prosperity Indiana Summit. I want to take a moment and congratulate them on hosting a successful virtual event. I also want to recognize this year’s Summit Award winners and thank them for their contributions to the affordable housing industry and the communities they serve:

  • PROGRAM OF THE YEAR – Second Helpings
  • STAFF MEMBER OF YEAR – Serita Cabel, Executive Director of Memorial CDC
  • JOHN NIEDERMAN AWARD – Charyl Luth, Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Association of Indiana
  • MICHAEL CARROLL AWARD – Joe Bowling, Executive Director of Englewood CDC

Speaking of award winners, the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Celebration was also held this week. During the virtual program, several individuals were honored for their commitment to serving their communities and honoring Dr. King. George Guy, who serves as the Executive Director for the Fort Wayne Housing Authority, was named this year’s CIVIL RIGHTS CHAMPION. I would like to personally congratulate George on receiving this very prestigious honor.

On behalf of the entire team at IHCDA, I want to thank each of you for your continued partnership and support. We are #INthistogether.


J. Jacob Sipe
Executive Director

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