Flint, MI— Genesee County residents who have been unable to pay their rent due to the pandemic have until Dec. 30 to apply for Michigan’s Eviction Diversion Program facilitated by the Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties. 

After the statewide evicition moratorium lifted in July, a temporary order that prevented landlords from evicting tenants for not paying rent due to the pandemic, the Michigan State Housing and Department Authority dispersed $50 million in rental assistance to Local Housing Assessment and Resource Agencies for distribution.

MSHDA originally allocated $2.8 million to Genesee County but the funds ran out in October. Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties applied for an additional $1 million and plan to spend the entire amount by Dec. 30.

“The need is out there, and people are meeting the criteria for this program,” she said. 

The EDP aims to keep Michiganders in their homes by alleviating financial burdens and back rent debt caused by the pandemic. To be eligible, applicants must be able to present an eviction notice, a Demand for Possession, a Notice to Quit or other written documentation from their landlord, Vicky Schultz said, CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties.  

In addition, landlords and tenants must both sign an agreement. Landlords are required to forgive late fees and up to 10% of the total amount due. Schultz said that 95% of landlords have agreed to take part in the program. 

Over 800 Genesee County residents have already enrolled, three-quarters of which are estimated to be from Flint, Schultz said. 

Qualifying individuals will be eligible for 65%-95% rental arrearage payments. The amount of money each applicant receives is determined by a formula that considers income, area median income, dependents and other financial factors. 

“This program is very generous. There are people that have made $50,000- $70,000 and they still qualified for some of their back rent to be paid based on the number of dependents,” Schultz said. 

Rental assistance can be backdated until March 1 and, in some cases, up to two months in advance. 

Schultz said the process takes up to 10 days if individuals provide all requested documentation in a timely fashion. 

“The biggest thing is come with all the information. [If they] come with one piece at a time it slows down the whole process.” 

If the remaining $1 million is not used by Dec. 30, it will be reabsorbed by the state. 

To learn more about the program call Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties at 810-600-4525 or visit MSHDA’s information page.

Carmen Nesbitt

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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