The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 1:00 am



$1.3 million to aid renters in city

Fort Wayne will receive nearly $1.3 million in federal funding to help renters, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced.

The money is part of a nearly $2 billion allocation for HUD's Community Development Block Grant program from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Indiana and 24 Hoosier communities will receive $27.3 million, which will be used to help people meet rental obligations for up to six months.

HUD said in a news release that the funding is focused on communities with: a greater risk of evictions because of high unemployment; high rates of businesses in industries with large job losses in states with high unemployment; and concentrations of people most at risk for coronavirus transmission and eviction.

Forum on eviction today at market

AVOW (Advancing Voices of Women) will sponsor a Civil Conversation forum titled “Eviction Epidemic” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. today at the Barr Street Market downtown. Attendees are asked to wear a mask and bring their own chair.

Fort Wayne ranked 13th in the nation for evictions before the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will hear panelists discuss issues that contribute to the problem and learn about laws governing landlord/tenant actions.

Panelists include Kelly Lundberg, director of the Fort Wayne Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services; Andrew Thomas, staff attorney at Indiana Legal Services; and Jeff Vaughan, local landlord.

ITT students to get debt relief in deal

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Tuesday he has secured an agreement to obtain nearly $10 million in debt relief for 1,354 former ITT Technical Institute students in Indiana as part of a settlement in partnership with 46 other states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The settlement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the for-profit college and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. PEAKS was formed after the 2008 financial crisis, when private sources of lending available to for-profit colleges dried up.

ITT developed a plan with PEAKS to offer students temporary credit to cover the gap in tuition between federal student aid and the full cost of the education.

When the temporary credit became due, ITT pressured and coerced students into accepting loans from PEAKS, which for many students carried high interest rates, far above rates for federal loans, Hill's office said.

Students do not need to take any action to receive the debt relief. The notices will explain their rights under the settlement. Students may direct questions to PEAKS at or 866-747-0273, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at 855-411-2372.

ITT, which was based in Carmel, Indiana, filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT's access to federal student aid. ITT had more than 130 campuses nationwide, including in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Merrillville and Newburgh.

Columbia, Lake to get bike lanes

Lane restrictions along Columbia Avenue, Lake Avenue and St. Joseph Boulevard will begin today and run for the next two weeks. The traffic change is in preparation for the addition of bike lanes linking the neighborhood to downtown.

Traffic will change from two lanes to a single lane with a bike lane and on-street parking. The change will add space between parked cars and is expected to reduce the risk of collisions and improve safety.

Weather permitting, work is expected to be completed by the end of September.

For more information on road closures, go to

Tox-Away Day this week a drive-thru

Fort Wayne's Solid Waste Department and the Allen County Department of Environmental Management are offering a Tox-Away Day 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Allen County household hazardous waste facility, 2260 Carroll Road.

Residents should enter off of Lima Road onto Fort Recovery Road.

The Solid Waste Department will cover most of the cost of disposal, with a small fee charged to those bringing in materials for disposal. Residents should bring cash or a personal check to cover the fee. Credit cards will not be accepted.

For the protection of residents and workers, this will be a drive-thru event only. As residents pull up, staff members with personal protective gloves and masks will accept the disposables and fees without anyone getting out of their vehicle.

– Journal Gazette

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