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Macomb County

COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program

Behind on your rent? Facing eviction? Macomb County has teamed up with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to assist income-eligible residents stay in their home and pay their past-due rent. CERA, or the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program, can provide rental and utility assistance for renters to help them maintain housing stability.

For detailed information for landlords please visit macombgov.org/cera-landlord

 

 

 

 

 

Who Is Eligible?

CERA can serve renter households that have incomes less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) who meet the following conditions:

  • Individual(s) in the household qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • Individual(s) in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability evidenced by a past due utility or rent notice.

Who Is Not Eligible?

  • Households that have incomes above 80% of Area Median Income.
  • Households that cannot show a "COVID-19 Hardship" (see below) or risk of homelessness or housing instability.
  • Households that are homeowners, land contract holders or those that live in commercial properties.
  • Renter households that are not behind on either rent or utility bills.

 

Macomb County gross income limits by household size. Household income must be below the listed amounts in order to be eligible for the CERA program.

Eligibility For The CERA Program

Number of people in the household

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Total Household Income (Very Low - 50% AMI)

$28,000

$32,000

$36,000

$40,000

$43,200

$46,400

$49,600

$52,800

Total Household Income (Low - 80% AMI)

$44,800

$51,200

$57,600

$64,000

$69,150

$74,250

$79,400

$84,500

 

How Do I Apply?

The best way to apply for CERA is via smartphone, tablet, or computer: Apply Now 

Paper applications for tenants (link) and landlords (link) are also accepted via mail or drop off at the following locations:
  • DROP BOX located under the blue main entrance awning
    Macomb County Family Resource Center, 196 N. Rose Street, Mount Clemens 48043
  • DROP OFF to MCA Staff on M-F from 10 AM to 3 PM (knock on front door)
    Max Thompson Family Resource Center, 11370 Hupp Ave., Warren 48089
  • US MAIL with attention to CERA Program
    21885 Dunham Road Suite 10, Clinton Township 48036
  • EMAIL to
    CERA@macombgov.org
Paper applications are also available in Spanish and Arabic.

What Tenant Documents Are Required To Determine Eligibility?

Tenants must provide:

  • Completed CERA Tenant application
  • Copy of past-due rent notice, a notice to quit or a court ordered summons, complaint or judgement
  • Copy of state ID or passport for the tenant applicant (with proof of residency if address does not match the unit)
  • Most current copy of lease agreement in tenant's name (if a written lease was completed)
  • Provide all proof of earned and unearned income for household members that live at the property and that are over the age of 18
    • Household income/benefits (unemployment, SSI, etc.) for one month, OR
    • Copy of submitted 2020 IRS form 1040 (first two pages) OR
    • Food Assistance Program Notice of Case Action form (only applicable for households with 3 or less people)
  • Copy of ALL utility statements the tenant is responsible for, if applicable
  • Copy of Internet bill/statement, if applicable
  • Documentation of COVID Hardship (see below on how to document COVID Hardship)

Types of COVID Hardship and Documents to Show Proof

  • A member of my household qualified for unemployment after March 13, 2020
    • Unemployment Monetary Determination Letter OR screenshots from unemployment website showing payments and person's name
       
  • A member of my household has had a 10% reduction in income after March 13, 2020
    • Signed letter from applicant outlining your original hours and pay rate and reduced hours and pay rate during the COVID outbreak
       
  • A member of my household has incurred significant costs (over $500) after March 13, 2020
    • Signed letter from applicant stating what type and amounts of increased expenses the household incurred during the COVID outbreak
       
  • A member of my household experienced other financial hardship (over $500) after March 13, 2020
    • Signed letter from applicant stating what type of financial hardship they occurred during the COVID outbreak

What Landlord Documents are Required?

Landlords need to provide:

  • Completed CERA Landlord Application
  • Copy of the lease (if a written lease was completed)
  • Ledger showing tenant's payment history in 2020 and 2021
  • W-9
  • Verification of court costs, if applicable

 

Can I get Help with my Utilities?

Yes, eligible households for CERA can receive utility assistance for tenant supplied electricity, home heating (any type of fuel), water, sewer and trash (if billed along with another utility).

 

 

Household Size

Maximum Total One Time Utility Payment (Includes Future Payment)

Maximum Future Utility Payment as a Credit

1-2 persons

$1,500

$300

3-4 persons

$2,000

$500

5+ persons

$2,500

$500

 

Tenants up to 50% AMI are eligible for an additional $500 if needed to fully pay utility arrears.

 

 

FAQ's

How Much Rental Assistance Can I Receive?

  • Up to 50% AMI-up to 12 months of rental assistance
    • Included within the 12 months, 3 months can be used for future rent assistance
  • 50-80% AMI-up to 10 months of rental assistance
    • Included within the 10 months, 3 months can be used for future rent assistance
  • Tenants may apply for an additional 3 months of rental assistance if necessary, for housing stability

 

Is There Any Limit On How Much Per Month I Can Receive?

Yes, the program limit is 150% of the HUD Fair Market Rent based on your home size and county.

 

I Need Help Paying For Home Internet, Is That Covered In The Program?

Yes, a flat $300 internet stipend is available for households that have home internet and include a recent internet bill/statement with their application. The $300 payment will be made to either the Internet service provider or the tenant.