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Michigan renters have eviction protection until July 31 when moratorium lifts

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 07:05:12-04

LANSING, Mich. — Renters in mid-Michigan who have fallen behind on their payments have another month to avoid eviction after the federal eviction moratorium was extended Wednesday.

During the pandemic, Michigan followed and enforced a federal moratorium that prevented landlords from evicting renters for failing to pay. Michigan never implemented its own eviction moratorium. The moratorium was originally scheduled to end on June 30.

Renters now have until July 31 to pay their rent and avoid eviction.

The federal moratorium on evictions was put in place in the midst of the pandemic. It was designed to keep people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 in their homes and out of local shelters. Local and federal officials voiced concerns that mass evictions would lead to major spikes in coronavirus cases because of crowded or unhealthy living conditions.

Gerry Leslie who serves as the program director of the Michigan State Homelessness Management Information System said implementing the eviction moratorium and providing residents with additional support to keep them in their homes had a significant impact on homelessness.

Gerry Leslie, Program Director, Michigan State Homelessness Management Information System

“Based on a number of measurement metrics, we’re looking at about a 20 percent decrease in homelessness over the course of 2020,” Leslie said.

Although COVID-era programs prevented people from ending up in shelters in the first place, they have also had a negative impact on local landlords.

Although COVID-era programs prevented people from ending up in shelters in the first place, they have also had a negative impact on local landlords.

“I have friends that are in this business and some of them are in a terrible way,” said Doug Benson, who serves as president of the Rental Property Owners Association of Mid-Michigan. “They have not only tenants that aren’t paying, but these tenants that they're struggling to get them this easy to acquire funding. And so here's the thing. Our bills don't go away.”

Benson said landlords want to keep good tenants in their homes and he encourages residents struggling to make ends meet to communicate with their landlords.

The help of new housing programs and dedicated funding means that help is readily available. However, some advocacy groups are facing other challenges.

The help of new housing programs and dedicated funding means that help is readily available. However, some advocacy groups are facing other challenges.

“The good news is you have a whole lot of funding available to help people. The bad news is you got a whole lot of funding available to help people and you may not have the staffing for it,” said Eric Hufnagel, who serves as the executive director of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness.

In mid-Michigan, residents can reach out to government organizations like the Michigan State Housing Development Authority or to local advocacy groups like Mid-Michigan Community Action or the Michigan Advocacy Program.

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Elle Meyers

Elle Meyers

6:12 PM, Apr 12, 2021

State Capitol

Neighborhood Reporter

Elle Meyers

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter