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Whitmer launches $50 million program to prevent evictions and offer payment help

 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to ask the federal government for more disaster assistance for residents and businesses who received flood damage after the Edenville and Sanford dams collapsed on May 19.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to ask the federal government for more disaster assistance for residents and businesses who received flood damage after the Edenville and Sanford dams collapsed on May 19. (WJRT)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 12:37 PM EDT
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(6/26/2020) - Anyone facing eviction in Michigan is getting a reprieve and potentially some financial help to stay in their residences.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Eviction Diversion Program on Friday, which includes $50 million of rental assistance to keep people in their homes and pay past due bills to landlords.

The program extends the temporary suspension of eviction court proceedings until July 15. Whitmer and the Michigan Supreme Court first enacted the eviction prevention in March.

The new diversion program is designed to provide fast rent payment assistance or help residents enter a manageable payment plan. Rental assistance payments will be available beginning July 16.

The state will offer lump sum payments to landlords in exchange for allowing residents to stay, forgiving all late fees and reducing the past due amount by 10%.

Residents who still have a past due amount on their lease after the state payment would enter a payment plan facilitated by the Michigan court system.

“No Michigander should have to worry about losing their home during a global health pandemic and, at the same time, landlords and management companies need rent from their tenants to sustain their businesses,” Whitmer said. “This innovative new program will save lives, save money, and save businesses by keeping families in their homes and providing immediate financial relief to landlords for back rent they’re due.”

The Michigan Legislature approved $60 million for the Department of Labor and Economic Growth on June 17 to launch a rental payment assistance program and most of that funding will toward Whitmer's new program.

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