New Eligibility Requirements for Those Applying for COVID-19 Emergency Rent Assistance

(Press Release from the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development)

WASHTENAW COUNTY – The State of Michigan has allocated $140 million in additional funding for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program state-wide to assist income eligible households who have fallen behind on costs associated with rent, utilities, and/or internet bills during the pandemic. Washtenaw County will initially receive $4.5 million and more is expected through a future state allocation of CERA II funds.

Eligibility requirements have changed for residents applying for rental assistance:

  • All cases approved on or after January 1, 2022, must have rental arrears dating between March 13, 2022, and before December 20, 2021, to be eligible for assistance.
  • All applicants must have a Michigan State Identification Card. Expired Michigan IDs will be accepted. Residents can visit the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) to obtain a State ID. More information can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_8668---,00.html.
  • Applicants must provide a 2020- or 2021-income tax documents or two weeks proof of income.

All applicants with questions about updated eligibility requirements can submit their questions to https://bit.ly/CERA-Questions.

CERA is administered locally through a partnership between the Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development (OCED), Housing Access for Washtenaw County (HAWC), and SOS Community Services, in close coordination with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

“Our office is grateful for partnerships with the Salvation Army, HAWC, SOS Community Services, and Legal Services of South Central Michigan, and Buenos Vecinos to administer the CERA program,” said Morghan Boydston, OCED’s Human Services Manager. “Their continued dedication to advance housing stabilization and eviction prevention for Washtenaw County residents is unwavering. Through their efforts, more than $12 million in rental assistance helped Washtenaw County residents maintain their housing and supported landlords even after the moratorium in 2021.”

The CERA application can be completed at http://www.michigan.gov/cera. For those who are unable to or do not wish to use the online application, paper applications can also be found at michigan.gov/cera or by contacting HAWC at (734) 961-1999. Paper applications must be emailed to hawc.washtenaw@usc.salvationarmy.org or mailed or dropped off at: Housing Access for Washtenaw County, 100 Arbana Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

If you need help applying for CERA assistance, please contact HAWC at (734) 961-1999. A user guide is available in English and Spanish for tenants that need assistance with the application process at www.washtenaw.org/3421/CERA.

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