Multiple emergency rental assistance programs exist in Michigan. Some are sponsored by the state, whereas others are run by charities. Expect to prove your financial need regardless of which program you turn to for help with rent in Michigan.
COVID-Related Emergency Rental Help
According to the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, the state of Michigan responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by pausing all evictions statewide. This allowed people to remain socially distant in their homes instead of traveling to friends' houses or entering shelters. However, the temporary eviction ban was lifted on July 16, 2020.
To qualify for COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) in Michigan, you must make less than 80 percent of your Area Median Income (AMI). You can view AMI information on the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) website. In addition, you'll need to provide documents such as proof of income, proof of COVID-19 hardship, a copy of your lease, a copy of your eviction notice and a copy of your photo ID.
Finally, a CERA application is required. To obtain a copy of this application and to learn more about this program's requirements, contact the agency serving your county.
General Emergency Eviction Assistance in Michigan
If you can't show proof of a COVID-related financial hardship, you can still get emergency eviction assistance in Michigan through the Eviction Diversion Program. To qualify for this program, your household must have made less than 100 percent of your area's AMI in the last four weeks.
Print out an Eviction Diversion Program online application or fill it in using a PDF editor. Mail or email it to the agency serving your county along with a copy of your lease, a copy of your eviction notice, proof of income over the last four weeks and a copy of your ID showing your current address. Your landlord must also complete and submit a separate application.
Michigan residents can also apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) funds, which can be applied to rent, utility bills, relocation, home repairs and more. If (and only if) your SER application is denied, the Salvation Army will consider your application for emergency financial assistance.
Veterans' Emergency Eviction Assistance in Michigan
Veterans in Michigan who need emergency rental assistance may apply for funds via the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). Call 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838) or fill out an online application. You can expect a response within 48 hours. The MVAA's Michigan Veterans Trust Fund also provides short-term financial assistance to eligible vets.
Veterans living in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties may also be eligible to receive rental assistance through Southwest Solutions' Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. To be eligible for this program, the veteran's household income must be less than 50 percent AMI. Proof of income, proof of eviction or homelessness and proof of service are required, among other documents.
Other Michigan Financial Assistance Programs
Residents living in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Lapeer or St. Clair counties can apply for energy bill assistance through St. Vincent de Paul. Call 313-393-2930 for more information, or visit their website for an online application. People with medical concerns that require stable housing can contact Health Emergency Lifeline Programs (HELP) for housing and financial assistance by calling 313-832-3300.
If you are facing eviction, currently homeless or living with others temporarily due to domestic violence, a house fire or another natural disaster, you may be eligible to receive relocation assistance funds from MSHDA.
Finally, many houses of worship offer financial assistance programs, especially in smaller communities. Reach out to these organizations, even if you aren't a member of the congregation.
- Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Eviction Diversion Program Income Limits
- MSHDA: Covid Emergency Relief Assistance (CERA) Contact List
- MSHDA: EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM (EDP) Tenant Application Form
- MSHDA: Eviction Diversion Program (EDP) Contact List
- MSHDA: EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM (EDP) Owner/Landlord Application Form
- MDHHS: Emergency Relief: Home, Utilities & Burial
- Salvation Army: Emergency Financial Assistance
- Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency: Emergency Assistance Form
- Southwest Solutions: Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
- Saint Vincent de Paul: Energy Assistance
- Health Emergency Lifeline Programs: Housing & Financial Assistance
- MDHHS: Relocation Assistance
Cathy has been writing about finance since 2014 and has been published on sites like The Nest, Bizfluent, Financial Independence Hub, and Credibly. She takes a particular interest in demystifying personal finance questions, like budgeting, tackling debt, and investing for the future.