Community Action Agency Updates


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LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has announced that it will soon have enough applications through the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program to distribute all funds available. Applications for CERA through the online portal will stop being accepted on Thursday, June 30, 2022, at 9:00pm. Michiganders with rent arrears should apply immediately for potential consideration. It is likely that more applications will be received than funds available. Applications submitted before the deadline will continue to be processed until all the available funds are utilized.


The CERA program proved to be incredibly helpful for those facing economic hardship and potential eviction due to pandemic-related causes. Since the program’s introduction in March 2021:


  • Statewide, over 250,000 applications were received for assistance, with over 130,000 being approved.
  • To-date over $750 million has been disbursed in assistance.
  • Over 142,000 Michiganders have been helped by this assistance, with an average of about $5,600 per household.
  • In Jackson and Hillsdale counties, over 2,900 applications have been received and over $ 8.3 million disbursed.


“MSHDA and Community Action Agency have put forth tremendous effort to make sure the CERA program was accessible for thousands of Michiganders” said Kelly Rose, MSHDA’s chief housing solutions officer. “Thanks to federal funding, we have been able to facilitate much-needed peace of mind to residents, helping them catch up on their rent and utility costs while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent. Though that funding will be fully expended later this year, MSHDA and Community Action Agency remain committed to helping residents with housing needs where possible.”


Once the CERA portal closes on June 30, residents in Jackson and Hillsdale counties who have not applied and are facing eviction should reach out to CAA. Those seeking legal services can reach out to Michigan Legal Help ( MSHDA is also evaluating other eviction prevention funding options like HOME-ARP and the Housing and Community Development Fund.


Funding for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program came from the federal coronavirus aid package passed in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $1.1 billion to the State of Michigan to be used directly on rental and utility assistance for individuals and families financially impacted by the pandemic. The response to the program has been overwhelming as many in need have sought to use CERA to secure housing stability. In fact, the program may end up with more applications than funds available, but MSHDA is focused on processing as many applications as possible received by the June 30, 2022, cutoff date.


To be eligible for consideration for assistance, renters must be behind in rent AFTER March 13, 2020 and BEFORE March 30, 2022.

The CERA Application portal can be found at:




About Community Action Agency

Founded in 1965, Community Action Agency provides a local approach to address the causes and conditions of poverty by promoting self-sufficiency in Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale counties through programming, advocacy, and leadership.


About MSHDA  

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), established in 1966, provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing, engage in community economic development activities, develop vibrant cities, towns and villages, and address homeless issues.