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  • Announcement

MSHDA rolls out online application tool for COVID Emergency Rental Assistance

United Way Montcalm-Ionia Counties, in partnership with EightCap, Inc. and The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has launched an online tool to help streamline the application process for renters and landlords seeking COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA).

MSHDA currently has federal funds available to help tenants avoid eviction and landlords recoup owed rent. Renters making 80% of the area median income or less are eligible. For other eligibility criteria and a link to the secure online application site, visit to apply. Landlords or tenants can fill out the CERA application and upload required documents.

Using a computer or smartphone, the online application site is the most efficient way to apply. Those who do not have a computer or smartphone can contact the Montcalm-Ionia United Way for application assistance at (616) 794-9840.

The Chief Housing Solutions Officer for MSHDA, Kelly Rose tells any eligible Michigan tenants that they “should apply for CERA as soon as possible. Even with an eviction moratorium currently in place until June 30, 2021, landlords can still take steps toward eviction for unpaid rent. Applying for CERA may help renters get caught up on owed rent, ensuring they can stay in their homes.”

Eligibility for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program

● The moratorium protects against eviction when invoked by the tenant but does not help tenants pay their arrears. Applying to CERA will help pay arrears now and avoid possible eviction later.

● If tenants do not invoke the moratorium, they could still face eviction for nonpayment of rent. Applying to CERA can help pay arrears for filed evictions and could ultimately help avoid eviction.

● Some landlords may still attempt to file an eviction for nonpayment of rent, even if the tenant invokes the moratorium. Applying to CERA can help pay arrears for filed evictions and could ultimately help avoid eviction.


The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), established in 1966, serves the people of Michigan by partnering to provide quality housing that is affordable, a cornerstone of diverse, thriving communities.

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