Residents of 1 Indiana City Could Be in Line for $6.3 Million in Stimulus Aid

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  • The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana has received additional rent relief funds.
  • Residents who are behind on their rent will soon be eligible to apply.

Talk about a nice-sized windfall to share.

Many people have fallen behind on their rent payments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the number of people who lost income and didn't have any savings to fall back on, that's not shocking.

Early on in the pandemic, an eviction ban was put into place in an effort to avert a widespread homelessness crisis -- something health experts feared would only fuel the COVID-19 outbreak and make it more difficult to contain. That ban made it so landlords couldn't evict tenants on the basis of non-payments alone (though they could evict tenants for violating other rules spelled out in their lease agreements). It also expired last summer, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to eviction in the absence of protection.

Thankfully, there's been money available in the form of rent relief funds -- $45 billion worth. And it's been on states individually to dish out that money to the residents who need it.

Some states and cities have, in recent weeks, received additional funding for rent relief purposes. And now, Fort Wayne, Indiana is joining that list.

More aid is on the way

The City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services recently announced the city has received $6.3 million in additional funding for rent relief purposes. The city had previously distributed over $13.6 million in emergency rental assistance funds.

Starting at 10:00 a.m. on Feb. 21, residents of Fort Wayne will be able to apply for rent relief funds through a dedicatedportal. They'll also have the option to schedule an appointment with Lutheran Social Services or Catholic Charities for an in-person appointment to apply.

To be eligible for rental assistance under this new round of funding, an applicant must:

  • Rent a home within Fort Wayne city limits
  • Have a household income at or below 80% of the median income in Fort Wayne (for a family of four, that's $57,500)
  • Be currently experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19 (it's worth noting that in other cities and states, applicants only need to show they experienced a hardship, like a loss in income, due to the outbreak)

Those who are approved for rent relief funds can receive money to catch up on past-due rent payments, get current on their outstanding utility bills, and cover future rent payments. Plus, those who already received rent relief funds are allowed to apply again and could receive a second round of funding if approved.

There's help available outside of Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is only one of several cities opening rent relief funds back up to the public. If you're behind on rent and need help getting caught up to avoid eviction, it pays to contact your state housing agency to see what assistance programs are available where you live. It also pays to talk openly with your landlord and see if you can work out an agreement where they get repaid in a reasonable manner but you also aren't forced to vacate your home.

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