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New program offers rent debt relief

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jul 16, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan’s eviction ban expired Wednesday, prompting concerns among housing advocates that a rushed handoff to an aid program may leave many without help.

In late March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to protect renters from being kicked out of their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority is trying to replace this order with an Eviction Diversion Program to pay rental debts and provide legal help for low income households.

Housing advocates said funding for the effort — tens of millions of dollars of federal aid — won’t be available to organizations that will give it out until early August.

The MSHDA said there could be $50 million provided for rental assistance, $4 million for housing resource agencies’ case management, $4 million for legal services and $2 million for administrative costs.

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