City hosting virtual forum on preventing evictions

Facebook via @FWNeighborhoods

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services is hosting a Facebook Live discussion Thursday, July 30 at 6 p.m. on the Fort Wayne Neighborhoods Facebook channel, @FWNeighborhoods.

Guests on the Facebook Live discussion will include Kelly Lundberg, Director of the Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services; Denita Washington, Adams Township Trustee; Andrew Thomas, Indiana Legal Services Attorney; and Pam Brookshire, Brightpoint Vice President of Community Services. Guests will discuss programs provided by their organizations and how they can assist residents who have lost income due to the pandemic.

The guests will explain that the moratorium prohibiting evictions in Indiana will expire July 31. Prosperity Indiana, a statewide membership organization working to strengthen Hoosier communities, estimates that 258,782 Indiana renter households affected by COVID-19 will soon need emergency assistance to ensure they have a safe place to live.

The City’s Office of Housing &Neighborhood Services is working with Indiana Legal Services, Brightpoint, area township trustees and other agencies to help address the expected surge in eviction and foreclosure filings. The Facebook Live discussion will provide information about the programs that can provide assistance and ways residents can apply for them. Questions from those watching the Facebook Live event will be taken in the comments.

The Tenant Assistance Legal Clinic is being operated by the local Indiana Legal Services office, 919 S. Harrison St. Suite 200. Low-income residents facing possible eviction should call the clinic at 260-424-9155 to be accepted into the program. If eligible, clients will then be referred to either a volunteer attorney with the Volunteer Lawyer Program or an attorney with Indiana Legal Services, who will provide legal advice and attempt to resolve the dispute out of court. If necessary, an attorney will represent clients during eviction proceedings with Allen Superior Court.

Indiana Legal Services staff will work closely with staff from Brightpoint and the local township trustee offices to help prevent evictions and homelessness. Brightpoint will provide help with rent, mortgage and utility payments to low-income residents. Residents in need of help should call Brightpoint at 260-423-3546, ext. 567.

To find the list of trustee offices in Allen County and their phone numbers, residents should click here. Additional resources to help prevent foreclosure and eviction can be found here.