CERA Program for Landlords
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.
Please check back, as additional information and resources are added frequently.
Instructions to filling out a W-9 form
Key components for completing a W-9 in order for payment to be processed:
- Line 1 must be completed
- Box 3 must be completed correctly for the tax classification
- Box 5 must be completed with the correct information; this is where payments will be mailed
- Part I - Taxpayer Identification Number must have either the Social Security Number OR the Employer Identification Number filled in.
- Sign here - the W-9 form MUST be signed
- Date - the W-9 form must be dated within the last 12 months
Frequently Asked Questions
What do 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
- Verification of court costs, if applicable
Are rent-to-own leases or land contracts eligible for CERA?
Rent-to-own leases are potentially eligible for CERA. Land contracts are not. In either case, these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility.
Are utilities paid by the tenant to the landlord eligible for assistance?
Yes, if the tenant is responsible for the utilities and makes payment for the utilities to the landlord, as stated in the lease, CERA is able to assist with these utilities by providing payment to the landlord. CERA is also able to assist with utilities that are in the tenant’s name.
Are there caps on assistance?
Rent assistance is capped at 150% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR). CERA can assist up to this amount per month based on the unit size and number of household members. Tenants are responsible for monthly rent amounts over 150% of the FMR. This may be done through a payment plan if agreed to by the landlord and tenant.
What if a tenant has moved out and left without paying their rental arrears?
A tenant must be living in the unit at the time the CERA Program assistance funds are disbursed. Tenants temporarily away from the unit (for example, hospitalization) are eligible for assistance.
How is the amount of rental assistance determined?
Rental assistance is based on income level with lower income households being offered longer periods of rental assistance. The 150% of Fair Market Rent is also considered when reviewing the monthly rent amount.
How long will it take to receive my payment once the tenant’s application is approved?
Payment processing times will vary depending on many factors. We anticipate that that payments will be sent to the address on the W-9 form within 3-4 weeks after approval. Please note that delays in the U.S. Postal Service may impact the timeliness of receiving payments.