More than 70% of eviction relief money still unspent

Much of that money could go away if tenants and landlords don't apply by the end of the month.

Michigan has more than $440 million in eviction relief funds just sitting around. And if most of it isn’t allocated by the end of September the federal government could take most of it away.

The money comes from emergency COVID-19 funding passed by Congress in December and March. It’s intended to help people struggling to pay rent while suffering from a COVID-related loss of income.

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So far just 29% of the $622 million in funding designated for Michigan has been used. But it’s not a lack of need that’s leading to the low use rate. Instead, officials say there’s a backlog of applications.

Nearly half the applications received by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) have been processed so far. Officials expect to churn through many of those over the next month, but they’re also encouraging people still behind on their rent to apply.

Applicants must earn less than 80% of the median income for an area and meet certain other criteria. People can submit applications through the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance website.

[Michigan Radio]

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