our resources and response to

COVID 19

Overview

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is closely monitoring a pandemic of the 2019 novel (new) coronavirus or COVID-19. This new respiratory virus was first identified in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province and continues to infect people in China and around the world, including the United States.

On March 6, ISDH confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in a Hoosier with recent travel. On March 16, ISDH reported the first death in Indiana due to COVID-19. On May 18, Indiana confirmed its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) that has been associated with COVID-19.

ISDH is working with federal and local partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to respond to this evolving public health situation.  Please click here for the most recent press releases related to COVID-19.

Please contact your healthcare provider if you experience symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Please immediately seek care if you experience symptoms such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake and bluish lips or face.

General questions from the public or healthcare provider inquiries about COVID-19 may be directed to the ISDH COVID-19 Call Center at the toll-free number:
877-826-0011 (
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for general public, Monday through Friday for healthcare providers).

Important Information

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Public Health Information and Best Practices

Updated:  September 2, 2020

The Indiana State Department of Health and other health organizations have issued instructions on how to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. We encourage all tenants to stay informed and follow the advice of these health agencies, and to contact BHA by phone, email or the website rather than in person.

Phone: (317) 233-1325

Phone: (812) 349-2543

Protect yourself and others from the spread COVID-19

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others. Why? When someone coughs, sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person has the disease.
  • Avoid going to crowded places. Why? Where people come together in crowds, you are more likely to come into close contact with someone that has COVID-19 and it is more difficult to maintain physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands. Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu, and COVID-19.
  • Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house, wear a mask to avoid infecting others. Why? Avoiding contact with others will protect them from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
  • Keep up to date on the latest information from trusted sources, such as CDC or your local and national health authorities. Why? Local and national authorities are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

 

Safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers

To protect yourself and others against COVID-19, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water. If you use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure you use and store it carefully.

    • Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers out of children’s reach. Teach them how to apply the sanitizer and monitor its use.
    • Apply a coin-sized amount on your hands. There is no need to use a large amount of the product.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose immediately after using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as it can cause irritation.
    • Hand sanitizers recommended to protect against COVID-19 are alcohol-based and therefore can be flammable. Do not use before handling fire or cooking.
    • Under no circumstance, drink or let children swallow an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It can be poisonous.
    • Remember that washing your hands with soap and water is also effective against COVID-19.

New Temporary Policies and Procedures

The BHA Main Office (1007 N Summit Street) is closed to walk-ins and open by appointment only until further notice.

Information for Clients Needing BHA Forms to Report Household Income Changes:

In response to the rapidly evolving situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), BHA is making available the electronic reporting of interim changes (changes of income and/or household composition) as well as annual re-certification forms.  Please see below for more information on how to access, complete, and submit these online forms.  BHA encourages all program participants to utilize the electronic method of reporting in order to maximize the practice of social distancing.

To report any changes, increase or decrease, you must complete an interim change form that is available online by clicking here.

For your convenience, your case manager is available to assist you with completing your interim change declaration over the phone.  Click here for the BHA staff directory.

Once you have completed the fillable PDF Interim Change Form, you may save the document to your computer, tablet, or smartphone and then email the document to your case manager.  Click here for the BHA staff email directory.  If you are completing the form using your smartphone, it is recommended that you use the Adobe Fill and Sign app available for free from the Google Play Store and/or Apple App Store.

You may also obtain and complete the interim change form at the BHA main office entrance.  Changes to income and/or family composition should be reported in writing within fourteen calendar days of the occurrence.  If you begin working, an interim change form should be completed within fourteen calendar days from the hire date.

If you need to complete and submit your annual renewal/re-certification forms electronically, you may access the form by clicking here.  Once completed, you may save the document to your computer, tablet, or smartphone and then email the document to your case manager.  Click here for the BHA staff email directory.  If you are completing the form using your smartphone, it is recommended that you use the Adobe Fill and Sign app available for free from the Google Play Store and/or Apple App Store.

Information for Applicants Needing BHA Forms to Report Household Changes:

For electronic application updates, please click here.

Information Regarding Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspections:

BHA continues to monitor which units are due for inspection. Rather than conducting a physical inspection for those which are due, we will conduct a teleconference call with the family to inquire about any potential deficiencies.

We will encourage families to take pictures of any said deficiencies and email them to the inspector. We will also encourage Skype sessions with the family when available in order to conduct a virtual assessment of the unit. We will then notify the landlord of the deficiency and require non-life-threatening deficiencies to be corrected within 30 days; any life-threatening deficiencies will be
required to be corrected within 24 hours.  Owners may also submit self-certification that the assisted unit meets HQS by submitting the HQS Self-Certification Form.

BHA will then follow up with the tenant at the end of the correction period deadline for confirmation of repairs being performed, again using methods such as teleconferencing and Skype. For any units still not meeting HQS at the end of the correction period, or any BHA-approved extension, an abatement of the Housing Assistance Payment will occur until such time that the unit is able to meet HQS.

BHA will continue to perform initial inspections provided that the unit is vacant, has been cleaned and received turnover maintenance prior to the inspection. For initial inspections in which the unit is occupied, BHA will conduct a virtual assessment of the unit utilizing such tools as Skype and webcams.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Will my housing assistance be interrupted?

A:  No.  BHA will continue to make timely Housing Assistance Payments on behalf of participant families.


Q:  I’m a Public Housing resident.  How should I pay my rent?

A:

  • Pay with a card over the phone by dialing 812.339.3491
  • Drop your rent payment off at the drop box located at the BHA entrance (checks or money orders only, please be sure to include your name, address, and telephone number with payment)
  • Mail your rent payment to BHA at 1007 N. Summit Street, Bloomington, IN 47404 (checks or money orders only, please be sure to include your name, address, and telephone number with payment)

Q:  I’ve experienced a decrease of income.  How can I report this change?

A:  To report any changes, increase or decrease, you must complete an interim change form that is available online by clicking here.

For your convenience, once you have completed the fillable PDF Interim Change Form, you may save the document to your computer, tablet, or smartphone and then email the document to your case manager.  Click here for the BHA staff email directory.  If you are completing the form using your smartphone, it is recommended that you use the Adobe Fill and Sign app available for free from the Google Play Store and/or Apple App Store.

You may also obtain and complete the interim change form at the BHA main office entrance.  Changes to income and/or family composition must be reported in writing within fourteen calendar days of the occurrence.  If you begin working, an interim change form must be completed within fourteen calendar days from the hire date.  Calling to report a change will not be accepted.


Q:  Will I still have my inspection?

A:  BHA continues to monitor which units are due for inspection. Rather than conducting a physical inspection for those which are due, we will conduct a teleconference call with the family to inquire about any potential deficiencies.

We will encourage families to take pictures of any deficiencies and email them to the inspector. We will also encourage Skype sessions with the family when available in order to conduct a virtual assessment of the unit. We will then notify the landlord of any deficiencies and require non-life-threatening deficiencies to be corrected within 30 days; any life-threatening deficiencies will be required to be corrected within 24 hours.  Owners may also submit self-certification that the assisted unit meets HQS by submitting the HQS Self-Certification Form.

BHA will then follow up with the tenant at the end of the correction period deadline for confirmation of repairs being performed, again using methods such as teleconferencing and Skype. For any units still not meeting HQS at the end of the correction period, or any BHA-approved extension, an abatement of the Housing Assistance Payment will occur until such time that the unit is able to meet HQS.

BHA will continue to perform initial inspections provided that the unit is vacant, has been cleaned and received turnover maintenance prior to the inspection. For initial inspections in which the unit is occupied, BHA will conduct a virtual assessment of the unit utilizing such tools as Skype and webcams.


Q: I am moving to a new unit. Will I be able to get my unit inspected?

A: Yes, BHA will work with your landlord to complete the inspection either virtually OR if the unit is vacant, turned and recently cleaned the inspection will be done in person.


Q: My landlord says they are going to evict me because of nonpayment of rent.  What should I do?

A:  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented a temporary eviction moratorium through the end of the year, protecting U.S. renters from losing their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the the CDC agency order,  the eviction moratorium will apply to all rental units nationwide until Dec. 31 and goes into effect immediately.

Talk to your landlord about your decrease in income and let them know we are working on a rent adjustment. We are happy to speak to your landlord on your behalf if that would be helpful. Please contact your BHA case manager and let them know there is an issue with your landlord and they will reach out.


Q: I am supposed to get my voucher for the first time, when will that happen?

A: BHA has every intention of continuing to issue vouchers. Although we will not have any in-person meetings, we will continue to conduct briefings and voucher issuance through the mail, online, or by phone. We will contact you through email, mail, or phone with details once we have reached your name from the waiting list.  The HCV Briefing Video Presentation may be accessed by clicking here.