Prosperity Indiana is pleased to co-release with the Indiana Institute for Working Families and Indiana Youth Institute, Policy Brief: A Year in Review: Housing Instability Trends for Hoosier Families and Counties Most Affected by COVID-19. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a pre-existing housing stability crisis in Indiana, with effects particularly concentrated among renter households, families with children, Black and brown Hoosiers, and low-income households. Throughout the first year of the pandemic, these Hoosier households were most likely to be affected by job and income loss and least likely to be able to stay current on housing payments. Therefore, they were most at risk of eviction or foreclosure.
After a year of economic disruptions, Indiana has experienced over 41,000 eviction filings at an average rate of over 750 per week, despite two eviction moratoria and two rounds of federally-funded emergency rental assistance. With the addition of a new state law that increases eviction powers and reduces local control over landlord-tenant relations, nearly one third of the state’s counties are now above pre-pandemic eviction filing rates, with the highest increases concentrated in Indiana’s smaller and more rural counties.
The report considers data from the weekly U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Unemployment Claims Monitor, and EvictionLab’s Eviction Tracking System to analyze the economic and social demographics and geographies of COVID-19 housing instability. Recognizing the significant federal resources becoming available to address COVID-related housing instability for renters concurrently with state and federal law and policies making eviction an increasingly available option for landlords, the brief also provides policy recommendations designed to inform Indiana’s state and federal policymakers regarding measures needed to rebuild housing stability and move towards long-term housing security.
Additionally, Prosperity Indiana published “Indiana’s Emergency Rental Assistance: Program Outlines and Recommendations for Equitable Outcomes.” Currently, there are seven emergency rental assistance programs across Indiana, including six local programs and one statewide program that serves Hoosiers that are not covered by the local programs. This overview reviews the requirements of each program and includes recommendations on maximizing the equity and efficiency of ERA programs.