Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently launched the Detroit Eviction Assistance and Prevention Program to help renters who are behind in their rent and facing possible eviction.
A federal moratorium in place since September of 2020 recently ended and the evictions for nonpayment of rent in the 36th District Court resumed just over a week ago, on September 7th, putting thousands of Detroit renters at risk.
The Eviction Assistance & Prevention Program is a three-point plan designed to help those facing eviction, no matter what stage of the process they are at by offering the following forms of support:
- Free Legal assistance. If you have received a demand for rent or an eviction notice, you can be assigned an attorney who will help advise or represent you. Apply at detroitevictionhelp.org or 866-313-2520. Most cases are handled by the United Community Housing Coalition and Michigan Legal Services, but the city is recruiting attorneys to provide legal assistance to tenants facing eviction. The attorneys will be paid $350 per closed case and can apply at www.detroitevictionhelp.org
- Access to financial assistance for past due rent and utilities. The City of Detroit has been allocated $130 million in Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) funds, the majority of which is still available for those in need. Apply at detroitevictionhelp.org or 866-313-2520.
- Fast Track hiring for Detroiters facing eviction. If your inability to pay rent is a result of being unemployed or not earning enough, numerous employers have agreed to prioritize hiring you through Detroit At Work. Visit detroitevictionhelp.org or call 313-962-WORK
“The resumption of evictions is going to be difficult for a lot of people who fell behind on their rent during Covid,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “In Detroit, we want to help keep people in their homes, so we are going to use all the resources at our disposal to help them avoid eviction, get caught up on their rent and stay caught up.”
It’s critical to show up for your hearing!
Mayor Duggan also said the most important thing residents in this situation need to do is to show up for their virtual court cases. “Landlords are winning nearly eighty percent of eviction cases by default because the tenant does not show up. We can’t help you if you don’t show up and we have attorneys ready to help you.”
Who is eligible for financial assistance?
Eligibility for receiving CERA funding is based on income and COVID-19 hardship. You are eligible for CERA funding if:
- You are a low income household. For example, if you are a single person household and earn less than $44,000 per year or a family of four earning less than $62,000 per year, you’re eligible.
- Your family suffered Covid-related financial hardship, such as reduced income OR greater expenses.
You do not have to have an active court case to apply for CERA. The City of Detroit encourages all tenants who know they’re getting behind on their rent to apply for CERA funding as soon as possible.
Protection for renters and landlords
City ordinance state that evictions for nonpayment of rent may only be ordered if the landlord has a current Rental Certificate on file and a Certificate of Compliance. Earlier this year, 36th District Court issued an order affirming that it would enforce that provision of the ordinance and would not proceed with certain evictions if the property did not have a Certificate of Compliance. To report a landlord with unsafe living conditions, call 313-628-2451. To report a rental property, go to https://detroitmi.gov/reportrental.
Landlords whose tenants are behind on rent also can file an application for rental assistance. The program makes direct payments to landlords in most cases. Landlords also can apply at www.detroitevictionhelp.org. If you’re a landlord and don’t have a current Rental Registration or Certificate of Compliance, go to DetroitMi.gov/BSEED for information about how to register your rental property and get a Certificate of Compliance.
Facing Eviction? Rapid jobs are available now!
If a resident is unable to pay their rent due to being unemployed or under employed, Detroit at Work will also be prioritizing renters facing eviction for job placement. The City of Detroit, as well as other employers, are hiring for a wide range of jobs and will expedite hiring for Detroit renters who are facing eviction for nonpayment of rent.
- If you’re facing eviction and looking for work, visit detroitevictionhelp.org or call Detroit at Work at 313-962-WORK. Choose Career Center Services and ask for the Rapid Jobs program.
- If you are an employer that has a short hiring process and want to hire talented Detroiters now, contact us at descmiworks.com/business-services or call 313-962-WORK (9675) and choose Business Services.
A Renter’s Guide to preventing eviction:
- If you’re behind on your rent, but have not received an eviction notice:
- Apply for CERA to help pay your back rent and utilities by visiting detroitevictionhelp.org or calling 866-313-2520
- You’ve received an eviction notice from your landlord:
- Apply for CERA. Doing so can place a temporary 45-day hold on eviction proceedings.
- Show up to your virtual court date! Nearly 80% of eviction orders are due to default judgments when tenants don’t show up to court.
- Call 866-313-2520 and we will provide you legal assistance. Attorneys will be available to help you at your virtual court hearing.
- Your landlord may not be able evict you for nonpayment if he/she doesn’t have a current Rental Certification and Certificate of Compliance. You can use this as a legal defense to prevent eviction. You must show up to court to use this legal defense.
- If you’ve received an order of eviction (or writ) from the court:
- Still apply for CERA! It won’t stop the process, but it can still help you pay overdue rent and utilities. It may even help pay for you to move to a new residence.
- The City of Detroit has lawyers on hand to help you contest the eviction in court.
- If you are at writ stage call (313) 725-4559 for legal help. If you are in court or behind on rent call 866-313-2520.
- Even if a judge has ordered an eviction, you may be able to appeal the case or receive other help.
- Only a judge can issue an order of eviction and only a court officer or bailiff can carry out an eviction.