MUNCIE — Indiana’s moratorium on evictions is set to expire in a week and that has renters and small business owners worried.
WRTV first introduced Morgan Roddy three months ago when people in Muncie and beyond helped to save her small business. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Hoosiers are still in a tough spot when it comes to making ends meet.
“I don’t see any sense in stripping away any protections either on a moral basis or economic basis,” Roddy said.
Whether you’re renting the space where you live or work, Roddy said things are going to get worse for those who’ve been struggling during the pandemic.
“I don’t know what the goal is to let any sort of protections strip away from vulnerable Hoosiers,” Roddy said.
The state is currently creating a program to help those facing evictions or foreclosures, anticipating it’ll be ready within the next few weeks. It will be free for landlords and tenants to settle disagreements over rent.
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday announced a $15 million increase to the state’s rental assistance program, a program that at last check had more than 24,000 people apply.
Roddy said some people will benefit from the program but is worried the vast majority of folks will have a hard time navigating the system.
“Anything that is being kind of wallpapered as, ‘Oh, we’re letting this extension go away but here’s what we’re going to offer instead,’ it’s not a choice,” Roddy said. “There’s no options.”
As for Roddy’s business, Queer Chocolatier, things are still in flux as the pandemic continues. She doesn’t want to open and risk getting someone sick. She’s hoping to accept online orders once it’s cool enough to ship chocolate through the mail but she has to stick it out these next few weeks without any guarantee of help from elected leaders.
“This is their moment to show us how they can govern,” Roddy said.