City of Detroit announces process for tenants to access $50M in eviction defense and rental & utility assistance
Eviction, Rent, And Utility Payment Help is Available
Are you behind on rent or facing eviction? We can help.
Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium has been extended through July 31, 2021. This is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.
Program launched: Monday, March 15.
Here is How to Get Help:
- Call Detroit Eviction Helpline at (866) 313-2520
- Monday - Friday 8AM - 6PM
- Saturday 9AM -Noon
- Complete the online application
The COVID19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program is designed to keep Detroit residents who fell behind on their rent during COVID-19 in their homes. Financial assistance is available for renters with their past due rent and utilities. Free legal representation may also be available for renters with court cases.
Who is eligible?
Households may be eligible for the CERA program if they meet the following:
1. Household income is below 80% area median income (AMI)
- For Example: Detroit household of 1 person earning under $44,000 or household of 4 persons earning under $62,800 would qualify
2. Have experienced an eligible COVID19 hardship since March 13, 2020
- Member of household qualified for unemployment
- Member of household has had at least a 10% reduction in income
- Member of household has incurred significant costs (over $500)
3. Household can demonstrate risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability evidenced by a past due utility or rent notice
Who can apply?
1. Renters with a court order summons, complaint, or judgment
2. Renters who are behind on rent and/or utilities and have a past due notice
3. Landlords can apply directly (both the landlord/ owner and renter will need to complete the application)
Documents needed for assistance
Please ensure all documentation is submitted to avoid delays in assistance.
Tenant Documents Needed
- Completed CERA Tenant application
- Copy of past-due rent notice, a notice to quit or a court ordered summons, complaint or judgement
- Copy of state ID or passport for the tenant applicant (with proof of residency if address does not match the unit)
- Most current copy of lease agreement in tenant's name (if a written lease was completed)
- Provide all proof of earned and unearned income for household members that live at the property and that are over the age of 18
- Household income/benefits (unemployment, SSI, etc.) for one month, OR
- Copy of submitted 2020 IRS form 1040 (first two pages) OR
- Food Assistance Program Notice of Case Action form (only applicable for households with 3 or less people)
- Copy of ALL utility statements the tenant is responsible for, if applicable
- Copy of Internet bill/statement, if applicable
Landlord documents needed:
- Completed CERA Landlord Application
- Copy of the lease (if a written lease was completed)
- Ledger showing tenant's payment history in 2020 and 2021
- Verification of court costs, if applicable
COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Rental Compliance Guidance
MSHDA's guidance on the local administration of CERA program allows for additional rules or restrictions in compliance with local codes/ordinances.
The Detroit City Code requires all residential rental properties to be registered with the City, properties are subject to periodic inspections for code compliance, and all such properties must obtain a Certificate of Compliance in order to lease the property and collect rent.
Landlords who are in compliance with this ordinance, or have an accepted Certificate of Compliance CERA Exception, will be eligible for 100% of the CERA funds. However, landlords who lack a Certificate of Compliance or an accepted Certificate of Compliance CERA Exception will initially only be eligible to receive 80% of the CERA allocation of funds. The remaining 20% of the funds will be placed into escrow until the landlord obtains a Certificate of Compliance, shows an accepted Certificate of Compliance CERA Exception, or proves that they have made repairs/improvements to the property with a total cost equal to or greater than the amount escrowed.
The following guidance provides an overview of how CERA will be implemented in Detroit relative to code compliance and the health and safety concerns of rental properties:
1. 100% OF CERA FUNDS WILL BE RELEASED if all CERA eligibility requirements are met and the property has one of the following:
A. An active Certificate of Compliance (CoC), or
B. Rental Registration and an accepted CoC CERA Exception, examples include:
I. Housing Quality Standards (HQS) for Housing Choice Voucher accepting properties, or an active passing REAC score for publicly assisted housing; or
II. Written acknowledgment by BSEED that the property is effectively in compliance, and the lack of CoC is due to factors unrelated to the conditions of the home; or
III. Mutual agreement of the landlord and tenant that the condition of the home is of a high standard and that all parties wish to proceed without further intervention.
Please note, examples ii and iii under the accepted CoC CERA Exceptions require that the property must be: (a) registered as a rental property within the BSEED system and (b) has a current “passed” BSEED rental inspection.
2. 80% OF THE FUNDS WILL BE DISBURSED TO THE LANDLORD, AND 20% WILL BE PAID INTO AN ESCROW ACCOUNT if there is no CoC or Accepted CoC CERA Exception, but the property is habitable (per MSHDA guidance relating to units with imminent threats to health and safety). The following outlines the process:
A. A conditional dismissal or settlement agreement will be established to outline the plan for repairs to the home and/or CoC compliance within an agreed-upon timeline. The timeline for these repairs will be decided between the parties, the default timeline is 3 months.
B. The landlord becomes eligible to receive the 20% held in escrow if they complete rental registration and do either of the following:
- Obtain a CoC or accepted CoC CERA Exception and provide proof of same; or
- Complete the repairs/improvements to the rental property for compliance-related repairs as outlined in the conditional dismissal or settlement agreement in an amount equal to or greater than the 20% escrowed amount. The landlord will provide documentation of repairs to tenant counsel or processor, including proof of payment/ receipts and a signed Affirmation of Repairs and Costs. Inspection costs may be included in repair costs.
Please note, the release of CERA funds does not exempt the landlord from meeting COC requirements under local ordinances.
3. HEALTH AND SAFETY If there is no CoC or an accepted CoC CERA Exception, and the property is considered uninhabitable according to MSHDA rules, then the landlord is not eligible to receive over 50% of the CERA funds. The other 50% of funds will be placed in escrow until the habitability issue is corrected.
- If upon resolving the habitability issue, the property does not have a CoC or an accepted CoC CERA Exception, 30% of the full payout will be released to the landlord, the remaining 20% will be held in escrow, and the 80/20 process will be initiated.
Let us Help You Get Help
Call Detroit Eviction Helpline at:
Monday – Friday from 8AM until 6PM
Saturday 9AM - Noon
Wayne Metro, P.O Box 32873, Detroit, MI 48232
At certain times call volume may be very high. We appreciate your patience and will assist residents as quickly as possible.
Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium has been extended through July 31, 2021. The Order temporarily halts residential evictions of covered persons for nonpayment of rent from September 4, 2020, through July 31, 2021. This is intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.
Here is how to use it:
- Read the guidelines to see if applies to you: CDC FAQ document.
- If you are covered, and need to use Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium, sign and give the Declaration For below to your landlord immediately.
- Save a copy and proof that you sent it to your landlord.
For additional information about the CDC Eviction Moratorium please click HERE: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html
PRIORITIZATION OF HOUSEHOLDS
The federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program requires a prioritization of assistance for households with incomes less than 50% of area median income or households with one or more individuals that have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding the date of application. The City of Detroit is currently operating in alignment under MSHDA guidelines. MSHDA has implemented this prioritization by reserving 70% of CERA/ERA program funds for these households as well as allowing the full 15-months of assistance. Households that are not within this priority group are only eligible for 13-months of assistance.