UPDATE: Rental and mortgage assistance now available for income-eligible East Lansing residents

UPDATE, August 11, 2020: The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program for East Lansing residents with incomes below 80% of the area’s median income is now operational. The program is administered by the Capital Area Housing Partnership. The detailed requirements and application form are available on their website, or you can contact CAHP at (517) 332-4663 or [email protected] Requests will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a similar program for Ingham County residents, which has slightly different requirements. Information about this program is available from [email protected] or by calling (517) 657-8145.

The original article from August 6, 2020, follows:

East Lansing residents with an income at or below the area’s median income can apply for housing assistance if they owe at least one month’s rent arrears. Mortgage help is also on the way.

Yesterday, a group of nonprofit housing providers launched an eviction diversion program to provide housing assistance to Ingham County residents, funded by $2 million in federal funding to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. coronavirus – a share of $50 million in funding for this purpose allocated by the Michigan Legislature to counties across the state.

East Lansing residents who are eligible can apply for this Ingham County program.

The City of East Lansing plans to launch its own rental and mortgage assistance program within about a week, planning department staff Amy Schlusler-Schmitt told ELi. The City plans to allocate $121,820 to this program.

Funding for city and county programs comes from the CARES Act that Congress passed in late March to provide money to cities and states to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

East Lansing received $289,484 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for pandemic response programs, in addition to its regular annual CDBG allocations.

East Lansing will use its supplemental CDBG-CV funding for two programs – one for rental and mortgage assistance and the other for small business grants. The small business grant program has not yet been launched.

Schlusler-Schmitt told ELi in mid-July that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD had approved the Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program guidelines as presented to the board. municipal. The board approved that program and the small business relief package at its May 26 meeting, the only action it needed to take on them, according to Schlusler-Schmitt.

The details of the City’s programs will be published here when launched.

How rental assistance programs work

The Ingham County and City of East Lansing programs have similar characteristics when it comes to housing assistance, although there are also differences.

The basic housing assistance approach of both programs is the same: people who provide proof of their income and proof that they are behind on their rent can apply for a subsidy which will be paid directly to their landlord. .

Sharon Dade, director of Holy Cross Services’ New Hope Community Center, which will administer the Ingham County grant program, explained the logic this way: “The eviction diversion program will ensure that families can stay safe in their homes while helping landlords collect rent arrears. they are due when the eviction moratorium expires.

The executive order signed by Governor Whitmer on June 26 extended the suspension of evictions until July 15 and created the Eviction Diversion Program, for which the Michigan Legislature had allocated HUD CDBG funds.

The Ingham County program is open to people with incomes below 100% of the region’s median income, which is defined as $56,200 for an individual and $80,200 for a family of four, according to a statement. press release of August 5 for this program. Half of the funds will be reserved for people whose income is less than 50% of the median income of the zone.

The City of East Lansing program will be open to people whose income is up to 80% of the region’s median income, which is defined as $41,650 for an individual or $59,450 for a family of four, according to the city staff report in May. Individuals must also provide proof that they have faced a hardship related to COVID-19, such as job loss, reduced work hours, or unexpected medical bills.

Each household or rental unit will be eligible to receive up to $2,000 total in financial assistance over a period of three consecutive months from the East Lansing program. An initial grant can be given for one month’s rent, with the option to apply for two additional months’ rent, if the applicant completes a housing counseling session.

When the East Lansing program launches, grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The city estimates that about 100 households will be helped from $100,000 in grants for this program, according to Schlusler-Schmitt.

HUD funding in the amount of $21,820 will be directed to the Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP) “to support staff salaries, benefits and operating costs,” Schlusler-Schmitt told ELi. CAHP will administer the grant program, and its certified housing counselors will provide this service, as needed.

Ingham County’s largest program has a higher maximum amount of rental assistance available to a household. This amount depends on the level of income. People with less than 50% of the area’s median income can qualify for up to $3,500 in rental payments to cover 90% of rent arrears. People with higher incomes can qualify for up to $3,000 in lease payments toward a smaller percentage of the amount they’re behind.

The East Lansing program will provide a mortgage as well as rental assistance. As with the rental assistance component, applicants must provide proof that they are at least one month behind on a mortgage payment, and a grant would be paid directly to the mortgage manager. As with housing assistance, applicants must provide proof that their income is less than 80% of the median average for the area.

The Ingham County Eviction Diversion Program is administered by Holy Cross Services in partnership with Advent House Ministries, Capital Area Housing Partnership, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – Ingham County. Information is available from [email protected] or by calling (517) 657-8145 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

When the East Lansing Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program launches, it will be administered by the Capital Area Housing Partnership. Their phone number is (517) 332-4663.