New Rental Assistance Program designed to reduce evictions

INDIANA – On Nov. 1, a statewide pre-eviction diversion program went into effect. Its purpose is to enable faster distribution of rental assistance to landlords and tenants, according to the Indiana Supreme Court.

While all 92 Hoosier counties have been ordered to offer this program by the state’s highest court, neither tenants nor landlords can be forced to participate against their will.

The purpose is to help landlords and tenants with rental assistance and inform them about their assistance options.

If any residential eviction is filed in Indiana for no payments, the court must ask both the landlord and tenant if they are in need of the Rental Assistance Program. If both parties agree to receive assistance the eviction will be put on hold for 90 days. The court will then provide the landlord and tenant with a completed case management order that includes status conferences at 30 days and 60 days to monitor progress, according to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Though the court requires judges to tell both parties about this new program, the court has the right to lift the 90-day halt if one party stops participating.

This program is available to anyone in the state of Indiana.

However, tenants can always be evicted for intentionally damaging the rental property. Even during the moratorium, renters still had to meet certain circumstances such as falling under certain income guidelines, being able to demonstrate they could not make full payments, and show they were still doing their best to pay the most they could to their landlord, according to news reports.

Participation in the pre-eviction diversion program does not bar a landlord from filing claims against a tenant, including eviction proceedings, for any future events or acts, according to the Indiana Supreme Court.

But if both parties resolve their disputes through the program, the court can dismiss the case or the parties can file a diversion agreement, agreed entry, or agreed judgment.

The Indiana Eviction Task Force is scheduled to provide an updated final report to the Indiana Supreme Court in January.

To find out more about this program and other resources, call 2-1-1 and ask for the resources available.