Whitmer signs order helping renters with payments

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 12:36 PM EDT
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday to help renters stay in their homes.

Executive Order 2020-134 created the Eviction Diversion Program, providing $50 million in lump-sum payments to landlords “in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes, forgiving late fees and up to 10% of the amount due,” a Friday news release said.

The assistance will be available beginning July 16.

Those tenants whose rent is not completely covered by the program will be able to use payment plans created by a previous executive order.

“The program was created following the passage of Senate Bill 690, which passed unanimously out of both the Michigan House and Senate on June 17,” the release said. “The legislation appropriated $60 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity for the creation of a rental assistance program to assist tenants and landlords after the eviction moratorium concludes.”

It's an extension that many across the state had been hoping for.

Now, landlords and tenants have more time to get the help they need, and housing services have more time to provide it.

"Having that extra two weeks to get that ready in the end will really benefit those that we serve in a real way," said Sharon Dade, Director of Lansing Holy Cross Services. "Housing is the number one stabilizing force in any household. When you lose housing, everything else is destabilized."

Governor Whittier's Eviction Diversion Program is one that Lansing Holy Cross Services has had for years.

"We have a real opportunity here to make sure that families and individuals in every community across the state remain stably housed. That's huge and important," said Dade.

Dade says Holy Cross Services is heavily involved in the state's eviction diversion program.

"They'll work with the courts and legal services, to see if an agreement can be made, they'll work with the department of health and human services to ensure that if there's financial assistance that's needed, that we can partner to make sure that happens."

The state will also work with housing services to give landlords and tenants a combined $50 million to help both business and quality of life.

"We understand that landlords are in the business of renting units to tenants and we want them to work with us to ensure that our families can continue their housing," said Dade.

The entire executive order

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