MSHDA adds online application tool for rental assistance

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Courtesy Orion Construction

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority launched an online tool to help streamline the application process for renters and landlords seeking COVID Emergency Rental Assistance.

MSHDA currently has about $282 million in federal funds available to help tenants avoid eviction and landlords recoup owed rent. Another $340 million is available to be appropriated by the state legislature.

“No one should ever have to worry about losing their home, especially during a pandemic,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “I’m proud of the steps MSHDA is taking with this new tool to help individuals, families and landlords handle pandemic-related pressure points of back rent and utility payments as quickly as possible. I am also grateful for the Biden administration’s direct aid to millions of Michigan families under the American Rescue Plan to help them keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table.”

Renters making 80% of the area median income or less are eligible. For other eligibility criteria and a link to the secure online application site, visit Michigan.gov/CERA. Landlords or tenants can fill out the CERA application and upload the required documents.

“We want to reach applicants where they are and the majority are online,” said Kelly Rose, MSHDA chief housing solutions officer. “For those with a computer or smartphone, the online application site is the most efficient way to apply. It only takes about 15 minutes, and the system can support up to 5,000 applicants at any given time.”

Those who do not have a computer or smartphone can apply for assistance through their local Housing Assessment Resource Agency (HARA). A list of HARAs by county can be found here.

“We encourage everyone who is eligible to take advantage of this program and take steps toward housing stability,” Rose said.

Funding for the program comes from the federal coronavirus aid package passed in December 2020.

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