Since the launch of the Hamilton County Emergency Rental Assistance Program March 15, the Hamilton County Township Association has awarded more than $2.5 million in rental and utility assistance to county residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county was awarded a $10 million Emergency Rental Assistance grant from the U.S. Dept. of Treasury for COVID-19 assistance. The funding is designed to assist renters unable to pay rent and utilities because of loss of income resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, 1,100 county residents have applied for the assistance and only 100 have been denied. Seventy-two percent of funds remain to be distributed, and Hamilton County Township Association President Danielle Carey Tolan said 65 percent must be distributed by Sept. 30.
“We’ve been talking to other people running programs (outside of Hamilton County) and many didn’t get up and going until the beginning of June, so we are hoping they extend that deadline just because getting 65 percent of whatever money you got is a lot to get done,” Tolan said.
The county’s program closed for two weeks in June to replenish the funds and prepare for the next round of funding. It also closed briefly at the beginning because the HCTA became overloaded with applications.
“It’s a good problem because people knew about the program and were aware of it, but we got tons of applications at the very beginning and we couldn’t keep up,” Tolan said. “We were overwhelmed with reimbursements the second (closure). We had to get all the documents back in order because of reporting (the funds) and making sure we did everything correctly for both the county and the treasury was taking extra time.”
The program has reopened and is accepting applications. To be eligible for the assistance, applicants must be a renter in Hamilton County, and at least one adult in the household must have experienced a loss of income because of the COVID-18 pandemic. Household income must be at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income.
Tolan said if someone isn’t eligible for COVID-19 relief funds, they might be eligible for other opportunities through the township.
The online application is available in 10 languages and can be found at HCTAIndiana.com. For assistance, call 317-618-3125 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.