“You’ve heard of the Peace Corps, I envision a community health corps,” said Mayor Duggan in his latest press briefing.
Duggan is alluding to his plan to direct $31 million in federal funding from the CARES Act to helping Detroiters impacted by COVID-19. City Council plans to vote Tuesday, which Duggan expects to pass quickly, to direct federal funding to towards overdue rent and housing those experiencing homelessness. Although Detroit is recovering physically from the pandemic, Duggan says citizens have expressed concerns regarding their housing.
“I hear what’s going to happen when 36th District Court reopens and I’m behind on my rent? Is my eviction case going to go forward and is my family going to be without a home,” said Duggan.
“I envision a corps of folks who work for the health department who can reach out to those of low income and say we will be there to help you on all of these issues.”
City administration is looking to provide housing security and use federal funding to:
- expanded housing for homeless, including 24-month long term beds
- hiring lawyers to fight improper evictions
- settlements for back rent
- programs for landlords to renovate if they keep rent affordable
- emergency home repair for seniors
Donald Rencher, Director of Housing & Revitalization, who will oversee the programs said he’s very excited and can’t wait to push the initiatives through. Normally he said he receives approximately $6 million in funding and now he is getting $31 million.
“You realize how much housing plays a critical role in addressing this disease…I am acutely aware of the responsibility that we have and want to make sure that we diligently work with our partners to carry out these programs for Detroiters because it’s going to be badly needed,” said Rencher.
Once approved, Rencher expects services to be accessible by the first week of July.