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Relief for tenants struggling to pay rent

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There’s some relief coming for renters who are facing eviction.

Ingham County has received more than $2 million to help those who could be evicted. Holy Cross Services is working with Advent House Ministries, Capital Area Housing Partnership, and Legal Services of South Central Michigan to identify those tenants.

“If you’ve received a seven or 30-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent for any time from March 1 onward up until December 31, 2020, you may qualify potentially for Corona relief funds to help cover that back rent,” said Rawley Van Fossen, executive director of the Capital Area Housing Partnership.

This relief also applies to some people who are already in the legal process. Courts have only been hearing landlord-tenant cases for about a week in Ingham County so there’s no way to know how many people need help; however, Van Fossen says, according to Census Bureau data, it could be as many as 20,000 households.

“If you take that 20,000 number and you take the $2 million or so that this community is receiving for rent assistance, that’s about $100 per household. I don’t know anybody locally who’s only paying $100 in rent,” said Van Fossen.

In the near future, this money will run out. With no end in sight for the pandemic, tenants will likely need more help.

“If we start seeing high numbers like they’re maybe predicted, no, there will not be enough money here to help the community, but what I can say is you’ve got a group of nonprofit and government agencies working together to try to have a support system,” said Van Fossen.

The money needs to be spent quickly, though. It’s only available through December 30.

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