Wayne County Emergency Rental Assistance Program Offers Home Hope  

Living in a home without the threat of eviction hanging over one’s head could make all the difference for some Wayne County residents in need of help with their rent.

Wayne County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is making that a possibility with funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent or utility bills.

ERAP is available to Wayne County residents who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, who are experiencing housing instability, and whose household income is at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI).

Types of assistance available include help with paying rent as well as for utilities.  Utility assistance may include electricity, home heating, water, and sewer. Internet stipends and relocation assistance are also available.

Through this program, a renter or landlord can apply in an online application. If the application is approved, a notification will be made via email.

Applications are being accepted and renters can apply via the tenant application now.

“Even as the American economy continues its recovery from the devastating impact of the pandemic, millions of Americans still face deep rental debt and fear the loss of basic housing security,” according to an ERAP press release. “COVID-19 exacerbated an affordable housing crisis that predated the pandemic and thus has deepened the economic disparities that threaten the strength of our nation.”

To lessen the severity of this crisis, ERAP makes funding available to assist households that are unable to pay rent and utility bills.

Partner organizations who helped ERAP design and implement this program include:

  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority
  • Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
  • Focus: HOPE
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Ballmer Group

Applicants must meet all of the criteria below to be eligible for the Wayne County Emergency Rental Assistance Program:

  • The applicant must be a current or prospective renter. Landlords may apply to receive money on behalf of tenants, but the tenant must alsosubmit an application
  • One or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income incurred significant costs or experienced other financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic; • One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • The household has a household income at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), as determined by the Secretary of HUD.

Prioritized processing will be in place for households with income at or below 50% AMI as well as households with one or more members that have been unemployed for at least the 90 days preceding the date of application submission.

If residents do not meet the criteria above, they could consider seeking assistance through other emergency rental assistance services.

Emergency Rental Assistance funds cannot cover past due rent that occurred before March 13, 2020.

Renters and landlords can apply for assistance through the online application. Focus Hope provides internet access to those in need (Monday-Friday, 8 am-4 pm) at the following locations:

  • 759 Inkster Road Inkster, MI 48141
  • 9151 Chalmers Detroit, MI 48213
  • 1400 Oakman Blvd Detroit, MI 48238

Spanish and Arabic translations of the application are also available.

For more information visit http://www.waynecounty.com/rentalassistance.

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