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State encourages applications for COVID-related homeowner assistance program

A house  in Grand Rapids
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio

Michigan has a program to help homeowners who are struggling to pay for housing due to the COVID pandemic.

The state got more $240 million from the federal government for the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Program.

Mary Townley, housing director with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, said that in order to qualify, applicants must live in an owner-occupied home, meet income eligibility requirements, and “have a COVID [related] hardship, either a decrease of income or an increase in housing costs.”

Townley said homeowners can receive a maximum award of $25,000. The money can be used for delinquent mortgage payments, delinquent property taxes, land contract payments, and even utilities, including internet. She encouraged people in need to apply, even if they’re not sure they’re eligible. Eligibility requirements and application information can be found here.

Townley said the state has until September 2026 to spend the money, but “based on what we're seeing and the volume of applications coming in, we expect to have exhausted all of our funds, probably in the next three years.” She said the program has received over 12,000 applications so far.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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