Advocates Say Federal Eviction Moratorium Delays Problem, Should Prompt State Response

Sep 3, 2020

Andrew Bradley is the policy director for Prosperity Indiana, a statewide organization devoted to community advocacy.
Credit Courtesy of Prosperity Indiana

Indiana housing advocates say the new federal eviction moratorium is an opportunity for the state to address the larger housing instability crisis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week a halt to many evictions through the end of December.

The moratorium comes with a lot of qualifications – people have to prove they’ve lost income during the pandemic and must attest under penalty of perjury that they would have nowhere else to go if evicted other than something like a homeless shelter.

READ MORE: With Moratorium Over, Housing Advocates Brace For Eviction 'Tsunami'

Prosperity Indiana policy director Andrew Bradley said the moratorium has the potential to help more than 300,000 Hoosier households. But he noted individual courts will likely be the ones determining whether people qualify.

“And I think that’s where we could start seeing problems unless we take a step back and have a statewide housing policy response,” Bradley said.

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Bradley said such a response should include a task force that brings together landlords, tenants and experts in public health and housing.

“To really think through how we can take advantage of this moratorium so that we’re ready for when it’s lifted again in January,” Bradley said.

Bradley suggested the state should also reopen its rental assistance program, which closed last week. A state budget official hinted this week that more money could be added to renew that program.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.