Michigan’s $1 billion pandemic rent fund is drying up. What’s next?
“There’s no way we’re going to be able to match a billion dollars,” said Kelly Rose, Chief Housing Solutions Officer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. In Saginaw County, about $17 million — $14.4 million in rent and $2.6 million for utilities — was poured into the community. For nearly two decades, the Michigan rental market has narrowed with the vacancy rate dropping from 18% in 2006 to 5.7% last year. “One thing we know is that we just have a general lack of affordable housing in Michigan,” Rose said. Another $63 million from the federal HOME-American Rescue Plan could be spent on another rental assistance program or developing affordable housing.mlive.com
Need rental assistance in Michigan? Apply by June 30.
The application window for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program closes on June 30 at 9 p.m. Assistance will be provided until funding runs out. “Right now, we’re just really just trying to beat the drum of getting everybody to apply,” said Kelly Rose, Chief Housing Solutions Officer for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. As of June 28, Michigan has distributed nearly $800 million in CERA funding on a county level, including roughly $690 million in rental assistance, $62 million for electricity, $13 million for water, $14 million for heating, $649,000 for sewer and $10 million for other assistance like internet services. Interest in the CERA program jumped last fall after a nationwide ban on evictions was lifted in August. During an October peak, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority saw about 5,000 applications a week.mlive.com
Over $14M in federal relief still available for tenants, landlords in need in Kalamazoo
KALAMAZOO, MI — More than $14 million dollars in federal funds remain available to renters and landlords in need of emergency rental assistance in Kalamazoo County. “Every week, between the three organizations, we process a very large amount of applications,” Davis said. That brings the total available CERA funds, at this time, to north of $14 million. Eighty percent of the area median income for a one-person household is $44,240, and the following for larger households:Two-person household: $50,560Three-person household: $56,880Four-person household: $63,200Five-person household: $68,320Six-person household: $73,360Seven-person household: $78,400;Eight-person household: $83,440. She anticipates applications could be cut off as early as March or April, to assure there are enough funds available to assist those who already applied and qualify.mlive.com
What does the end of the eviction moratorium mean for Michigan tenants?
A year and a half later, the federal eviction moratorium has ended and local legal aid funds are still sorting through a backlog of cases. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, Aug. 26 ruled to end the federal eviction moratorium first enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that time, the U.S. Treasury paid $25 billion to states and local governments for COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA). In West Michigan, administering rental assistance has been a slow but effective process, said Karen Merrill Tjapkes Director of Litigation at the Legal Aid of Western Michigan. Part of the logjam in getting rental assistance to Detroit tenants is the educational aspect.mlive.com
Evicted Clinton Township Man Thought He Was Protected During CERA Application Process
Clinton Township man applies for Coronavirus Eviction Renter Assistance to protect him from eviction after getting behind on rent. He was evicted yesterday, although he thought he was protected while application was processing.detroit.cbslocal.com
People with unpaid rent in Kent County can still tap into about $25.5 million in federal assistance available
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- About 961 households in Kent County have avoided possible eviction thanks to federal emergency rental assistance, and there are about 1,485 more waiting. Officials continue to encourage those with unpaid rent and utility bills to apply for rental assistance. In terms of dollars, community partners in the county have distributed about $6.24 million in rental and utility assistance as of Tuesday, July 20. The CERA undertaking dwarfs the previous rental assistance program undertaken last year, in terms of available funds, tenant eligibility and the cap on funds people could receive. Under that $2.8 million program, an estimated 850 to 900 households in Kent County were helped.mlive.com
Muskegon hopes to stem the tide of evictions with $15M in federal rental aid
MUSKEGON, MI – A flood of emergency rental assistance in Muskegon County will go toward addressing immediate needs and lowering the eviction rate. Muskegon County was awarded $15 million in COVID-19 federal aid for rental and utility relief. Community enCompass is the Housing Assessment Resource Agency appointed by the state to distribute the relief aid. Last year, a $2 million eviction diversion program funded by the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided aid to 627 families in Muskegon County. Mediation and Restorative Services has been working in Muskegon County for 27 years.mlive.com
$17 million in emergency rental assistance available to Kalamazoo County residents in need
KALAMAZOO, MI — Emergency aid totaling $17 million, covering past-due rent and utilities, is now available for renters who qualify in Kalamazoo County. Housing Resources Inc. is the lead agency, partnering with Open Doors Kalamazoo and Integrated Services of Kalamazoo. Individuals can also apply for an additional three months of rent support to assure stable housing. Housing and homelessness are an ongoing topic of discussion among local governments including the city of Kalamazoo and Kalamazoo County. The city also contributed money to help support the remodeling of a hotel to turn it into long-term housing.mlive.com
Michigan renters, landlords can apply for assistance through new program
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State House Development Authority (MSHDA) announced a $282 million rental assistance program meant to help tenants who are struggling due to the COVID pandemic avoid eviction. The program is also meant to ensure that landlords can recoup owed rent. The COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program replaces the Eviction Diversion Program (EDP) that MSHDA launched in July. Landlords or tenants can apply for CERA. Tenants and landlords can also apply through their local service agency.