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Evictions cut in half due to CDC ban, state diversion program

image of furniture and mattresses on curb
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State officials say evictions in Michigan  in September and October were about half what they were during the same time period last year.

That's after the CDC issued an eviction ban for people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and have been unable to obtain government assistance for rent.

It's also due to a state program that uses CARES Act funds to pay 90% of someone's rent, if the landlord agrees to forgo the other 10 percent.

Kelly Rose is with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

She says both the CDC ban and this particular eviction diversion program end at the end of December. But the state plans to cobble together funds from other places to last another six months or so.

"We know that's it's not going to be as robust," says Kelly, "but we do have other funds that were appropriated in the CARES Act that are substantially more than the normal amount of eviction prevention funds that typically our service agencies are operating with."

Rose says another good benefit of the state's eviction diversion program is the creation of a better system for getting landlords, renters, attorneys, and judges working together to prevent evictions.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered lower courts to provide legal aid for people at their first hearing in an eviction proceeding. Attorneys for the renter and the landlord must meet to discuss options other than eviction, including enrolling the renter in the eviction diversion program.

Advocates for the homeless say it appears that most landlords have been willing to participate.

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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