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Financial help is still available to renters experiencing pandemic-related hardship


For tenants impacted financially by the pandemic and struggling to pay rent, the end
of the CDC Eviction Moratorium last month was a big blow to their housing stability. However, even though the moratorium has expired
, there is still assistance available through the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program.

In addition to helping renters get current on owed rent and making landlords whole, financial assistance through CERA can also help pay for utilities and internet.

If you have lost your housing, CERA can also provide motel assistance on a weekly basis for up to three months.

If you need help with any of these, you must apply to CERA before September 30, 2021.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) launched CERA in March to help renters impacted by the pandemic get current on owed rent and make landlords whole. With $622 million in program funds available, CERA can pay up to 12 months in back rent and three months going forward.

The CERA program has already disbursed over $110 million to preserve housing stability for more than 17,000 households. Renters making 80% or less of the area median income are eligible and must be able to show proof of COVID-related hardships — including losing a job, reduced work hours, or even having to buy PPE.

To learn more about eligibility criteria and/or to apply, you can use the secure online application site at Michigan.gov/CERA. Both tenants and landlords can initiate the application process. CERA will guarantee landlords get quick and substantial payments of rent owed, as well as future months of rent.

You can also access this program by applying through your local Housing Assessment and Resource Agency (HARA), listed by county here, or directly at the CERA website.

The online application is the quickest, most efficient way to apply. It only takes about 15 minutes to complete. If you do not have a computer or smartphone, you can apply for assistance through your local Housing Assessment Resource Agency (HARA).

Renters may also benefit from free legal help available with the CERA program. Renters can visit www.michiganlegalhelp.org to get connected to a Legal Services agency in their area.

 

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2021 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/03/21 18:08:22 -0700.

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