TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—Indiana's Housing and Community Development Authority is now accepting eviction diversion applications from renters. That includes landlords from more than 90 Indiana counties. Indiana's Supreme Court said this is an additional tool to promote housing stability.
The goal of the program is to provide rapid distribution of emergency rental assistance funds to landlords and tenants. This program is brand new, it was rolled out a few weeks ago.
According to the state's website, Tippecanoe County is in the top five for having the most eviction cases. Those filings are from January 1st through September 30th of this year.
Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority said in order for renters to qualify for the program they must have a pending eviction against them.
Superior Court 7 Judge Dan Moore said the eviction diversion program informs tenants and landlords there are other resources to remedy an eviction.
"If both parties agree to participate in the program it takes that eviction out of the general docket, stays it for 90 days gives the parties to try and get financial aid," said Moore.
He's talking about financial aid through emergency rental assistance. It requires both the tenant and the landlord to submit an application to the state for the funds however both the tenant and landlord must agree to take part in the process.
"If the dispute is resolved, the case gets dismissed and while they are in that program and if they successfully complete the program the case remains confidential," said Moore.
Judge Moore said the eviction wouldn't be on the tenant's rental record which could be beneficial.
"The benefit from the tenant's point of view is that it allows the eviction to be confidential, buys some time to hopefully resolve the issue," said Moore. "The benefit from the landlord's point of view is that there's aid available to resolve the rent, they get their rent paid and get made whole."
Moore said it's another way around the tenant and landlord having a contested hearing in court.
"It is an effort by the court to try to ensure that everybody, tenants and landlords are aware of the resources out there to provide some financial aid to try to resolve those evictions that can be resolved," said Moore.
Judge Moore said to date he only has one case participating in the program.
According to the state's website, Emergency Rental Assistance Funds or ERA funds are available through September of next year. However, President Biden's American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided Indiana with ERA funds through September of 2025.
For more information on Indiana's eviction diversion program click here
For information on the Indiana Supreme's Court release click here
For Indiana's Housing and Community Development Authority website click here