By Calina He
HAND Inc. and the Hamilton County Township Trustee Association are partnering to provide assistance to those who cannot pay for rent and utilities. The state’s moratorium on evictions expired Aug. 14, but many people are still unable to make payments because of financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financial assistance is available through the organizations thanks to a grant.
“We applied for rental assistance through the United Way. We have a total of $300,000 available for rental assistance,” said Andrea Davis, HAND executive director.
The Hamilton County Township Trustee Association is working to determine eligibility for the program, which is limited to rental and utility fees.
“An applicant comes to us with a state-mandated application with official documentation. We go through a process, and once we deem that the applicant needs assistance, we refer them to HAND,” said Westfield Washington Township Trustee Danielle Carey Tolan, who also is president of the Hamilton County Township Trustee Association. “A lot of people will have a couple months for assistance because of COVID-19.”
Davis said assistance limits have been set to allow more households to participate in the program.
“We are limiting rental assistance to $2,000 per household and utility assistance to $1,000 per household. If we do that, we would be able to help about 125 households,” Davis said. “We believe that communities need a variety of housing options in order to thrive.”