Study: Evictions linked to coronavirus deaths

Last January, the official point-in-time count of homeless people totaled about 5,500 in Indiana (V. Carter)

A new study is directly linking evictions to coronavirus deaths.

Though a statewide moratorium on evictions has been lifted by state lawmakers, there is still a federal moratorium on evictions in place from the Centers for Disease Control. But, that’s only if you meet the qualifications under the moratorium.

Still, many Hoosiers are being evicted anyway by landlords, according to the tenant advocacy group Prosperity Indiana.

A similar group call the National Housing Project cites a study from the University of Pennsylvania that found every 70 households evicted during the pandemic corresponded with at least one additional coronavirus death.

“That means that there could easily be 3,500 to 4,500 additional deaths in Indiana unless we successfully prevent those evictions,” said Prosperity Indiana policy director Andrew Bradley to WISH-TV.

Bradley said the federal moratorium doesn’t explicitly protect tenants for non-payment of their rent, even if they do meet requirements under the moratorium that say you have to have made every effort to get government rental assistance and other similar requirements.

Bradley said tenants up for eviction should take their case to court and argue that it should.

“The effect is going to be the same,” said Bradley. “If people are put out on the streets, then that still increases the threat to public health if they’re not able to be stably housed.”

Bradley said right now it’s estimated that 248,000 to 313,000 Hoosier households are at risk of eviction.

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