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Facing Eviction? The State of Michigan Provides Rental Assistance Program

By: Jeremy Kennedy

For over a year, the federal and state government, along with governments in many states, put in place moratoriums on evictions to help blunt the impact of the Covid pandemic. These moratoriums, along with aid to renters and other Covid assistance, helped prevent a repeat of the mass of foreclosures and evictions that marked the Great Recession. Even though millions of people were laid off en masse during the pandemic, these steps held off the feared explosion in evictions. Now that the moratoriums have ended and aid programs have run their course, bills are coming due. 

In many instances, tenants have missed payments and may not be able to make those payments on their own. This puts landlords in a more difficult position than they would have been before any moratoriums were put in place. It’s important for them to know what tools are at their disposal to help themselves and their tenants before the financial burden becomes too great. Fortunately, the State of Michigan has an assistance program that’s designed to help tenants and landlords obtain relief before the financial burdens crush them. 

In March of 2021, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), using Covid relief funds from the federal government, created the Covid Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program. This program is run through local non-profit organizations, and provides rental assistance for up to 15 months. Not only can the tenant apply on their own, but if they’re unaware, unwilling, or unable to apply for some reason, landlords can apply for assistance as well. It’s important that landlords and tenants are aware of this aid, and any attorney who advises them should be aware of the benefits this program can provide. 

The basic requirements for the CERA program are straightforward: a tenant must make less than 80% of the area median income, must have suffered a financial hardship as a result of Covid, and must be at risk of homelessness or housing instability. If a tenant is approved, they can receive rental assistance for up to 15 months, with the amount per month being their monthly rent, capped at 150% of the fair market rent for the area, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

For tenants struggling to pay bills, or landlords worried about foreclosure after over a year without rental payments, this can be a godsend. Any attorney who practices in the area of landlord-tenant law needs to be aware of the CERA program, and any landlord or tenant who is worried about potential financial catastrophe following the end of the eviction moratoriums needs to look into this program. 

Get Started Today: Schedule Your Consultation!

If you’re facing eviction after moratoriums ending, there’s financial assistance available to you. Contact our real estate attorneys in Ann Arbor to answer your questions. 734-665-4441 

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