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State doesn't expect big wave of evictions after Supreme Court ends federal moratorium

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State officials don't expect a big wave of evictions after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium. The six members of the conservative majority on the Court said the Biden administration had exceeded its authority in issuing the moratorium.

Kelly Rose is chief housing solutions officer at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. She doesn't expect to see courts overwhelmed with eviction court cases, with large numbers of people ending up homeless.

She said there are ample funds remaining in the state's eviction diversion program, which was established with federal pandemic funds.

And she said most people who have fallen behind on rent probably qualify for help. People whose income is 80% of the median for their area generally qualify, and past due rent can be requested as far back as March, 2020.

"Don't wait for eviction paperwork to apply for the program," said Rose. "Apply for it when you're behind on your rent, before your landlord  has filed for eviction, and that will help avoid the stress of the eviction process."

People can apply for rental assistance online and they can also get free legal help for eviction cases.

Rose said the program has spent $172 million to keep more than 26,000 families from facing eviction. She said the state will be increasing its outreach efforts to make sure tenants and landlords are aware of the diversion program.

The Michigan Supreme Court issued an administrative order last year, directing lower courts to inform tenants and landlords at pretrial hearings about financial assistance that may be available for tenants to avoid eviction.

Eviction notices must also include information about the eviction diversion program.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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