Indiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance (IERA) Program

The State of Indiana’s portal for emergency rental and utility assistance was announced by Jacob Sipe, Executive Director of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Using the $372 million of the $448 million allotted to Indiana from the COVID-19 legislation passed by Congress in December 2020, the Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program (IERA) will provide rent and utility assistance to eligible Hoosier families. Six city and county-based programs will administer the remaining 76 million dollars.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this program aims to assist households unable to pay their rent and utilities. The program provides rent, utility/home energy, and internet assistance to qualified renters for 15 months. In some cases, eligible applicants can provide utility assistance for past-due utilities (electric, gas, water, sewage, and trash) and electricity (oil, wood, coal, and propane). Rental assistance includes past due rent incurred after April 1, 2020, and future months of rental assistance. If you are the head of the household, you must complete the application.

The IERA program also offers utility assistance to those eligible. Suppose the utility payment is not made as part of the monthly rental payment, and the utility is in the name of one of the tenants listed on the lease. In that case, the applicant may qualify for utility assistance. Application requirements include additional eligibility requirements for internet assistance as well.

IndianaHousingNow.org provides resources and information for housing providers, tenants, and community-based organizations, including application materials, frequently asked questions, and assistance examples. It also links other sites with information on foreclosure prevention and consumer protection, home repair and modification, senior housing, housing for people with disabilities, and shelters.

To be considered for rental assistance, renters must meet all of the following requirements. For renters to receive assistance, landlord participation is not required, but IHCDA will work with landlords to verify payments due and issue payments. Visit our application portal for more details. If you need help applying, call 211.

IERA is one of six Indiana programs funded and administered by Indiana cities and counties. Six counties are included in this group: Elkhart County, Marion County, Hamilton County, St. Joseph County, Fort Wayne, and Lake County. 

Eligibility

The following are the eligibility criteria you must fulfill to qualify for the program.

  • Residents of Indiana (except for Fort Wayne, Hamilton County, and Marion County) 
  • A reduction in income, expenses, or financial hardship caused by COVID-19 is your situation 
  • If you are homeless or housing insecure, you are at risk 
  • Approximately 80 percent of your household income is below the median income in your area (2-person households: $46,250; 4-person households: 57,850; 6-person households: $68,100).

Need assistance?

If you need rent assistance, you can use the following websites (depending on your location) to get in touch with the relevant authorities:

State of Indiana: IndianaHousingNow.org 

Elkhart County: www.elkhartcounty.com/rentalassistance

Marion County: www.indyrent.org 

Hamilton County: www.HCTAIndiana.com 

St. Joseph County: www.sjcindiana.com

City of Fort Wayne: www.fwcares.org 

Lake County: www.LakeCountyIN.care

The state program, through IHCDA, will cover all areas in the state that do not have a local government receiving separate funds to distribute rental assistance.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!