Duggan: Stop punishing new construction in Detroit, raise taxes on vacant land

How to apply for COVID rental assistance in Michigan

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Michigan officials are urging renters and landlords in need to apply for almost $500 million in unspent rental assistance grants as a moratorium on evictions is set to expire Saturday. 

State officials and nonprofit groups are urging tenants and landlords to apply for the aid as they work through a backlog of nearly 32,000 applications, more than half in Wayne County. If 65% of the funding isn't obligated by Sept. 30, state officials warn the U.S. Treasury Department could reclaim the remaining money for rental and utility assistance. 

►For subscribersMichigan has $500M in unclaimed eviction prevention aid as ban expires

Some Detroiters have been protesting against evictions.

How to apply for aid

  • Place to apply: michigan.gov/cera
  • Who is eligible: COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) is available to renter households with incomes that are less than 80% of the Area Median Income and meet certain conditions. The conditions include: 1. A person or persons in the household qualified for unemployment benefits or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or has experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak. 2. An individual or individuals in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability evidenced by a past due utility or rent notice.
  • Who is ineligible: Those who don't meet the above requirements. Homeowners, land contract holders or those who live in commercial properties. Renter households who are not behind on their rent or utility bills.
  • What documents are required? See michigan.gov/certa for requirement for renters and landlords.
  • Places to seek help: Detroit Eviction Helpline: (866) 313-2520 or www.detroitevictionhelp.com; statewide list of CERA contacts