Indy to use $13M from city coffers for virus relief

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis will tap nearly $13 million in city funds to provide rental assistance, housing for the homeless and other pandemic relief efforts intended to aid vulnerable residents.

The Indianapolis City-County Council voted 23-0 Monday night to direct $12.9 million from the city’s general fund to the relief efforts as city officials await possible additional federal funding.

Indiana’s capital has already spent the $168 million it received last year under the $1.8 trillion CARES Act approved last March by Congress. That funding went toward food and rental assistance, combatting homelessness and aid for local businesses, among other uses.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement that even though Indianapolis residents have begun receiving the coronavirus vaccine, “the effects of COVID-19 continue to threaten far too many in our city."

“This allocation will help extend existing programs and serve as a bridge until we receive additional federal funds that can more meaningfully address the scope of challenges Indianapolis families are facing," he said in a statement before the council approved the spending.

The city's funding includes $6 million for rental assistance, $2 million for non-congregate shelter for high-risk homeless residents, $1.9 million for coronavirus contact tracing efforts and $300,000 for food assistance.

Mark Bode, a spokesman for the mayor's office, said the city will continue to work with leaders in Washington, D.C., to advocate for additional local funds.

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