City officials said Wednesday that Detroiters facing eviction and urgently needing housing will be given a same-day place in emergency shelters or other housing as the deadline to file for emergency rental assistance approaches in Michigan.
The deadline to apply for the state’s COVID Emergency Assistance Program is June 30. The state will continue to provide assistance to approved applicants until September 30, or until funding runs out.
The city estimates that 82% of Detroiters are low-income and 52% are renters.
Through the CERA program, $159 million in rental assistance has been allocated to more than 19,000 Detroiters since March 2021, with about 10,000 families’ applications still awaiting approval, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said. The city will also provide free legal assistance to tenants who claim they have been wrongfully evicted and hire through its Express Employment Program.
“Anyone who is evicted and about to be homeless, the city will immediately intervene so that you don’t spend a single night on the street,” Duggan said.
For residents who find themselves homeless, Duggan said the city has the capacity to provide same-day housing through it. Cam Detroitan organization that connects residents with community partners who provide housing opportunities.
“So there is no reason for someone to forcibly stay abroad, you might be in a shelter, you might be in a temporary hotel,” Duggan said.
Lakeshore Legal Services, United Community Housing Coalition, and Michigan Legal Services provide advice and representation to all Detroit tenants facing eviction if residents choose to accept it.
“Every day, between these three organizations, our attorneys appear in court on these virtual documents representing tenants, so every time someone goes to court there is a legal aid attorney to represent them,” said Ashley Lowe, an attorney at Lakeshore Legal. services.
Nearly 30,000 evictions pass through Detroit District Court 36 each year, according to a report from Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. The same report found that renters were about 18 times more likely to keep their dwelling when they had legal representation.
in advance this month Tenants the city has set up in hotels with federal aid have demanded more help In finding permanent housing from City Hall.
Detroit eviction defense attorney Joe McGuire said that while the city has the resources to ensure residents are not displaced in an emergency, the infrastructure for more durable solutions than hotels and shelters is lacking. He added that there is a lot of money from COVID relief aid and the US Rescue Plan Act to support more durable solutions.
“Not a lot of infrastructure was built as it should have been…necessary consultants, connections to existing housing, obviously new housing being built, as well as rehabilitating housing that was already the city,” McGuire said.
“We are committed to having no one on the streets involuntarily. There are some people who choose to be outside but we have the capacity to respond in an emergency,” the mayor said. So they can house anyone who needs them in an emergency, whether in a shelter or a hotel, he said.
Rental price increases over the past year It has forced many Detroiters to move to avoid being left behind or being evicted, an issue Duggan said he hears about frequently from residents.
Requests for assistance have been inundated with Lakeshore Legal Services, Michigan Legal Services and the Housing Coalition since the US Supreme Court overturned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s federal eviction order in August 2021.
Agencies helped craft The Right to Consultation proposal approved by the City Council last month. The ordinance means that the city will provide free legal aid to any resident who meets the low-income guidelines. The program is funded by a combination of federal COVID relief funds and charitable donations.
They can support residents in their search for work immediately, said Dana Williams, director of the Detroit at Work Manpower Agency.
Williams: “If you feel like you’re on the cusp of not getting enough income, we can work with you to connect you with an opportunity that might be part-time…until you figure out your next step,” he said.
Duggan stressed the number of vacancies in the city currently, saying there are more than 12,000 jobs that need to be filled.
CERA is still accepting requests for rental assistance and Anyone who has experienced COVID-related difficulties and is struggling to pay rent is encouraged to apply in the next two weeks. Schneider said anyone who had already applied for CERA assistance should have received an email with an update on the status of their application within the week of May 30.
“Applications submitted in the portal will continue to be reviewed and processed, so if you receive a status that it is in progress, know that we are still processing it,” Schneider said. “And we will continue to do so until all the money is spent and we expect that to happen towards the end of this year.”