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
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
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
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
www.michiganlegalhelp.org to get connected to a Legal
Services agency in their area.