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Rent, Utility Assistance Available

A new Emergency Rental Assistance program has been established to help those struggling to pay rent and utility bills because of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City received $8.1 million in funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance program from the U.S. Department of the Treasury which is administered by the City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services (OHNS).

This program is only available to applicants who rent apartments, homes or other residential units within Fort Wayne City limits. For more information and to access the application, go to www.fwcares.org.  This is the quickest way to apply for this program.  Beginning Monday, March 8, you may also call 317-552-1463.  Program staff will work down the list of applicants to help those who are eligible until there is no more available funding.

“The pandemic has put many local residents out of work, and they are unable to pay for basic necessities, including rent and utility bills,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “It is vital that we help keep families stable and in their homes.”

“Many families who are renting their homes or apartments in our community are facing eviction due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kelly Lundberg, director of the Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services. “This program will help supplement the great work already being done by our non-profit partners to help keep people in their homes.”

In order to qualify for the program, residents must:

  • Rent within Fort Wayne City limits
  • Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), which is $56,900 or less for a family of four
  • Be experiencing financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic

Eligible Assistance includes:

  • Past due rental payments and up to 3 months of future payments.
  • Past due utility bills (electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal and other energy costs, such as fuel oil) for up to 12 months.

Brightpoint, Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services, and Baker Tilly U.S. have agreed to partner with The City of Fort Wayne to provide help to those who need additional assistance applying. Renters may contact these organizations for help with the application process.

Note: While this program is for rental households, homeowners who need mortgage assistance can apply through the State of Indiana through this website.