Genesee County agencies to distribute CARES Act funding for rental, mortgage, utility assistance

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 5:44 PM EDT
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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Genesee County has received roughly $3.5 million in CARES act funding from the federal government.

Approximately $315,000 will go towards rental, mortgage and utility assistance for residents facing financial hardship because of COVID-19, the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission announced Friday.

“We sent out surveys back in the summer. We surveyed all of our local units of government and some of our agencies like the homeless providers we work with. We basically surveyed everyone to see what the biggest needs were in the community,” said Lead Planner Damon Fortney.

The program is open to low to moderate income residents who have suffered major income loss due to the pandemic. Eligible residents can receive up to six months worth of rental, mortgage and utility assistance.

“We’ve talked to a number of the shelters, and the people there are obviously very stressed out. It’s already a hard thing to be in a homeless shelter, but to have to follow all the new rules and the worries and anxiety that comes with that,” Fortney said.

The funds are going to be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. While it is available on a county-wide level, not every community is eligible for the funding. For example, the program is not open to Flint residents, because the city receives Housing and Urban Development funding directly.

The cities of Clio, Davison, Village of Otter Lake and Lennon have opted out of the funding.

The Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, Catholic Charities and the Genesee County Community Action Resource Department are in charge of distributing the funds.

“This is kind of the biggest amount of money we’ve ever had for this type of program, so it’s definitely very exciting that we can provide more than we ever have before.”

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