Eviction ban extended, but renters have to take action

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) -(3/5/2021) - The federal government is extending an order preventing landlords from throwing renters out on the street, who can’t pay their bill.

It now ends March 31st.

But ABC12 learned a mid-Michigan apartment complex evicted a number of tenants Friday morning. And, a local attorney says their actions are legal.

A tenant at the Midway Square Townhomes - formerly named the Evergreen Regency -- said he was evicted for not paying rent for several months. It’s a bill he couldn’t afford right now.

If you’re in that situation, you have to take action to guarantee you’re protected from an eviction. You do that by filling out what’s called a CDC declaration form.

“It’s basically saying, listen -- I make less than $99,000 a year, I’ve used the best efforts I can to find rental assistance and pay my rent. I’m unable to pay my rent and I’ve had a loss of income. Then, you meet all these requirements and you sign this affidavit,” Attorney Elias Fanous shared.

The two-page form can be found on the CDC’s website.

Attorney Elias Fanous said the paperwork needs to be turned in to the local court or your landlord, who is obligated to accept it.

Just because they’ve received the paperwork, doesn’t mean they can’t still go through the process of evicting you for not paying your rent. Fanous said the form just prevents the final step in the process of forcing you out of your home.

“The good news is, is this, in the state of Michigan we’re expecting that next week Genesee County will receive a huge amount of money in the tens of millions of dollars for rental assistance,” he explained.

Fanous said the eviction diversion program is set up to provide money to those who need it so they can pay their rent. And then in turn, the landlords receive the income they rely on.

“That is going to be helpful for everyone; because honestly, there’s no landlords that want an empty house. We don’t want to see people on the streets,” he added.

ABC12 did speak with the owners of Midway Square Townhomes. They can’t comment on any specific tenant’s situation, but explained they’ve tried to make tenants aware of this specific form -- hosting events to explain the process and providing handouts about it. They tell me the office computer was even made available for those who don’t have their own.

The first eviction diversion program brought $2.8 million dollars to Genesee County last year. Attorney Fanous said if you received money the first time, you are still eligible for assistance in this next round.

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