TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Lafayette Transitional Housing says the United States is forecasted to have a 40 percent increase in homelessness in the coming year. While the moratorium on evictions was extended to August 14, those who work with people facing housing insecurity and they say that may not be long enough.
"We are very worried about what happens on August 15th just as we were before the eviction moratorium was extended, said Jennifer Layton.
Layton is the CEO of Lafayette Transitional Housing. She says that so far 800 renters from Tippecanoe County have applied for the rental assistance and only 8 applications have been processed.
"We are going to need more time to make sure that we are helping those folks stay in their housing,” said Layton. “It's much less expensive to help prevent homelessness than it is once someone is actually experiencing homelessness to get them re-housed."
While LTHC has not yet seen an influx of people in need because of the pandemic, they have still serviced a large number of people since the pandemic began.
"We've actually enrolled almost 300 new people and that's amid a pandemic and an eviction moratorium so we will see what happens," added Layton.
Layton says to prevent the Homelessness crisis from getting worse, the federal government needs to step in.
"We can't do it alone,” said Layton. “We can’t do it as a state; we can't do it as a local community we can't do anything without the feds stepping in with some pretty substantial monetary assistance."
Senator Todd Young says he hopes to work something out to assist renters and homeowners who are struggling due to the pandemic.
"As we negotiate with the house of represents we are going to be including provisions that those who are unable to go back to work can still sustain themselves and their families during this difficult time," said Senator Young.
Those provisions are something those at LTHC hope happen.
"Nothing good comes for a community for a state for a country when you have people that are literally sleeping outside," added Layton.
As of yesterday, 20,000 Hoosiers have applied for rental assistance through the state program.