Indiana launches Eviction Task Force to assist landlords and tenants

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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INDIANA (WFIE) - There is a new resource in the Hoosier State for both landlords and tenants.

It’s called the Indiana Eviction Task Force.

It comes as local officials say the state has battled tens of thousands of eviction filings every month since the start of the year.

“It’s a stunning number for a state of size of Indiana, absolutely,” says Executive Director of Pro Bono Indiana, Scott Wylie.

In his role, Wylie has a front-row seat to what he calls a “crisis” in the Hoosier State - the number of people evicted from their homes.

“The pandemic has just amplified the number of people dramatically,” says Wylie.

On Tuesday, the state announced the Indiana Eviction Task Force. It’s designed to help both landlords and tenants get resources and support.

Wylie says, “So they are looking for ways to work together with both parties to provide rental assistance, get rent paid, and keep people in their homes. This is actually one the real times where courts are working to make sure that both sides are dealt with in the most fair and accurate manner.”

Wylie also says the timing of this task force is critical, with the federal eviction moratorium long gone.

“And with the loss of pandemic unemployment insurance on the 3rd of September,” says Wylie, “a huge new group of people are now without income.”

So what do you do if you need help? Wylie suggests both landlords and tenants call 211 - the United Way helpline.

“In whatever county you are in Indiana,” says Wylie, “they can direct you to the local agency who is assisting in the coordination of that rental assistance.”

Wylie says in addition to looking out for yourself, look out for one another.

“Making sure people know that this rental assistance and other help is available is so important,” says Wylie, “because people often do not ask for help until they are already at the courthouse.”

For people who may have just lost unemployment benefits, Wylie suggests asking for help and talking to your landlord in advance. He says that’s because assistance programs can often times take weeks.

Wylie says it is okay to ask for help.

“People are proud,” says Wylie. “They have always paid their bills. This is not a time to worry about that pride.”

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