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Are You Being Evicted? Select Your County to Get Legal and Financial Help

The State of Michigan is operating a COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program to help tenants stay in their homes by getting legal and financial assistance to pay for some or all of the back rent they owed since March 1, 2020. CERA can also ensure that landlords get most of the money owed to them. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) is in charge of CERA. MSHDA is working with a network of nonprofit homeless service providers, known as Housing Assessment and Resource Agencies (HARAs). The HARAs process the CERA applications and determine whether someone is eligible for financial help and the amount of assistance they will get.

You can apply for rental assistance online or submit a paper application to your local HARA. If you are submitting a paper application, you may want to use the Do-It-Yourself Proof of Hardship for COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) tool. This tool will help you explain your hardship due to COVID-19 which is one of the factors needed to get CERA. The CERA application is an application for financial assistance only. You will need to separately contact your local legal aid organization if you are looking for legal representation.

* Please note, the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) application portal will be closing on June 30, 2022 at 9:00 p.m. Once the application portal is closed, tenants will be unable to submit applications. Applications submitted before this time will continue to be reviewed and processed until all program funds are used. It is likely that more applications will be received than will be able to be funded, so a submitted application does not guarantee that there will be funds available. If you are behind on rent, it is important to complete and submit your application before this deadline.

What should you do next? 

  • If you are behind on your rent, you should apply for CERA now. You can apply even if your landlord has not given you a Complaint for Eviction, a Demand for Possession, or Notice to Quit. You can either apply online or submit a paper application to your local HARA. You can find contact information for your HARA below by choosing your county. Please note, the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) application portal will be closing on June 30, 2022 at 9:00 p.m. Once the application portal is closed, tenants will be unable to submit applications. Applications submitted before this time will continue to be reviewed and processed until all program funds are used. It is likely that more applications will be received than will be able to be funded, so a submitted application does not guarantee that there will be funds available. If you are behind on rent, it is important to complete and submit your application before this deadline.

  • If you have been served with a Complaint for Eviction, you should apply for CERA for help paying your back rent and talk to legal aid. Find the contact information for your local legal aid organization below by choosing your county. 

  • If you are still waiting for your CERA application to be processed, but the judge has entered an eviction judgment against you or your landlord has a Writ or Order of Eviction, you can use the Do-It-Yourself Motion for Temporary Relief from Judgment tool to ask the judge to pause your case for your CERA application to be processed.

  • If you have an eviction judgment against you, it is important to contact your HARA immediately and let them know of your situation. You should also contact legal aid so they can help quickly in case you get a Writ or Order of Eviction. Find the contact information for your HARA and your local legal aid organization below by choosing your county.

  • If you are given a Writ or Order of Eviction, contact legal aid immediately. Find the contact information for your local legal aid organization below by choosing your county.

 

To learn more about CERA, read the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CERA) article.

To learn more about how COVID is impacting eviction in other ways, visit the Eviction and Other Housing Issues and COVID-19 toolkit.