UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has announced that it will soon have enough applications through the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program to encumber all funds available.

Applications for CERA through the online portal will stop being accepted as of Thursday, June 30, 2022, at 9:00 pm. Michiganders with rent arrears should apply immediately for potential consideration. It is likely that more applications will be received than funds available. Applications submitted before the deadline will continue to be processed until all the available funds are utilized.

Since the program’s introduction in March 2021:
• Statewide, over 250,000 applications were received for assistance, with over 130,000 being approved.
• To-date over $750 million has been disbursed in assistance
• Over 142,000 Michiganders have been helped by this assistance, with an average of about $5,600 per household
• In Marquette and Alger Counties applications have been received and over $1,543,984 million disbursed

“MSHDA and Community Action Alger Marquette have put forth tremendous effort to made sure the CERA program was accessible for thousands of Michiganders” said Kelly Rose, MSHDA’s chief housing solutions officer. “Thanks to federal funding, we have been able to facilitate much-needed peace of mind to residents, helping them catch up on their rent and utility costs while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent. Though that funding will be fully expended later this year, MSHDA and Community Action Alger Marquette remain committed to helping residents with housing needs where possible.”

Once the CERA portal closes on June 30, residents who have not applied and are facing eviction should reach out to Community Action Alger Marquette. Those seeking legal services can reach out to Michigan Legal Help for potentially free legal representation. MSHDA is also evaluating other eviction prevention funding options like HOME-ARP and the Housing and Community Development Fund.

Funding for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program came from the federal coronavirus aid package passed in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $1.1 billion to the State of Michigan to be used directly on rental and utility assistance for individuals and families financially impacted by the pandemic. For more information on CERA, visit https://www.michigan.gov/mshda/rental/cera.

Other programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program administered by MSHDA may also be able to assist. The HCV program is a federally funded rental assistance program that assists low-income residents with paying their rent. Generally, eligible families must have income levels at or below the extremely low-income limit as established by HUD based on county and family size.

MSHDA’s HCV Program waiting lists for all Upper Peninsula Counties: Alger, Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft County will be open on 6/28/2022, at 9:00 a.m. EST and closed on 7/26/2022, at 3:00 p.m. EST. Applications are available online only; no paper applications will be available or accepted. You may only apply to one county waiting list. During the time the waiting list is open, you must submit your application online at: https://mshda.myhousing.com/.