Indiana has created a number of housing assistance programs to help low-income families find affordable housing within the state. At-risk populations, including low-income families and individuals, veterans and disabled individuals, have housing assistance programs. Families who find themselves in temporary financial difficulties have programs designed to assist them on a short-term basis until they can regain their independence. Likewise, there are programs designed to help in the event of an emergency. These emergency programs help to offer transitional services for those who are fleeing domestic violence and teens and young adults who have aged out of the foster care program. The housing programs offered in Indiana are funded in large part by the federal government, but are managed on the local level by the Indiana Housing Authority (IHA). The most active housing assistance programs in Indiana are discussed below.
Indiana Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program
One of the largest housing assistance programs in Indiana is the Housing Choice Voucher program, often referred to as Section 8. This program is managed locally by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), who works in tandem with local community housing programs who provide direct assistance in their counties. Under the IN Section 8 program, there are several types of housing vouchers issued. Project based vouchers as well as tenant based vouchers are issued to qualifying families and individuals.
Tenant based housing vouchers are issued to individuals and families who take these vouchers and find landlords willing to accept them in the private market. These types of housing vouchers allow families the flexibility to move to locate affordable housing or to relocate in order to take advantage of a better job situation. Project-based housing vouchers are tied to the actual unit or property, and once the tenant leaves, the tenant must reapply for housing assistance. If no available housing is available in either program, then participants are placed on a waiting list, which is maintained by each individual housing authority or community action organization. Eligibility for the IN Housing Choice Voucher Program is based primarily on the income of the applicant and his or her family. Program services are offered through recognized local subcontracting agencies.
Indiana Emergency Solutions Grant Rapid Re-housing (ESG RR)
Individuals or families who find themselves in a homeless situation can receive expedited housing assistance. Rapid rehousing is available for households that fall at least at or below 30 percent of the area’s median income, and for whom no affordable housing can be located through other programs. Private organizations (nonprofit) work with the State of Indiana to administer the program. This program adopts the definition of homelessness offered by the Housing and Urban Development Department.
Fostering Independence Program in Indiana
The Fostering Independence Program offers supportive services and housing assistance to foster children who have aged out of the original system. Participants must be between the ages of 18-25. Case management services offer job training and educational support as well as a personalized program. While living in this transitional housing setting, teens and young adults are taught life skills and learn how to live independently. Several counties operate their own programs in addition to this one, including the Transitional Living Program in Mishawaka and Bloomington.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) in Indiana
Indiana offers temporary assistance for families with children under the age of 18 who are struggling financially. The program offers support by providing cash assistance with the aim of restoring families to a level of self-sufficiency. This program is administrated by the Division of Family Resources (DFR) and requires eligible families to adhere to the program’s work requirements. Adult applicants must register with IMPACT (job search program). Recipients are also required to attend an orientation program, and complete at least twenty days of job search activities. Financial assistance will be canceled for those participants who do not comply with these requirements. As with many housing assistance programs in Indiana, this program is needs-based, and will also consider the size of the family.
VASH in Indiana
Indiana offers veterans assistance through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program. This program issues housing vouchers to eligible veterans as well as offering clinical services and case management. Participation in the program is dependent on the income of the veteran. Eligible participants must be able to receive VA benefits before the VASH program will be offered. Upon award, the program participant is required to take part in supportive services when offered, pursue treatment options and accept case management.
Shelter Plus Care / Permanent Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities in Indiana
Indiana recognizes that there are groups within the state that have been traditionally hard to reach. This program connects housing with services, so that those with physical and mental disabilities, individuals with HIV/AIDS or individuals with substance abuse issues can receive housing at the same time as treatment is received.