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State gives out $40 million in renter aid to local housing groups

Christine MacDonald
The Detroit News

The state announced Wednesday it has given $40 million to housing agencies and other advocacy groups across Michigan to help tenants pay rent as a part of its Eviction Diversion Program. 

The funds went to 38 groups called Housing Assessment and Resource Agencies (HARAs) and the Michigan State Bar Foundation who will help distribute the aid, according to a press release. 

In southeast Michigan, four groups received the funds:

  • Homeless Action Network of Detroit, $7.3 million
  • Macomb Homeless Coalition, $4.8 million 
  • Alliance for Housing in Oakland County, $5.7 million
  • Wayne-Metro Community Action Agency, $5.4 million 

The state's ban on evictions lifted July 16, although Detroit's court extended its until Aug. 15. 

Under the diversion program, landlords can receive lump-sum payments in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes, forgiving late fees and forfeiting 10% of the amount due. Tenants earning up to 100% of their area's median income are eligible for assistance. In Wayne County, that is $55,000 for an individual and $78,500 for a family of four.

For more information on how to apply, go to michigan.gov/edp. Renters or landlords can apply. Renters have to submit a "notice to quit" from the landlord or a copy of an eviction complaint or summons.

State officials say a total of $50 million in aid has been allocated for renters. The remaining $10 million will be distributed in September or October depending on how fast the initial $40 million is spent, said Katie Bach, a spokeswoman for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. 

The funds were divided throughout the state based on previous eviction rates in those areas, officials said. 

“After creating the Eviction Diversion Program earlier this month, it was critical we work as quickly as possible to get the funds distributed to the local HARAs so they can begin doing the important work: keeping people in their homes,” said Kelly Rose, MSHDA’s chief housing solutions officer in the release. 

In Detroit there is additional fund available from the city. Residents at risk can call (866) 313-2520 or go to detroitevictionhelp.com. The moratorium on evictions in Detroit was extended to Aug. 15 by 36th District Court. 

cmacdonald@detroitnews.com