*NOTE: The MSHDA Covid Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) application portal is closing at 9:00 p.m. on June 30, 2022.


The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) recently announced updates to the Covid Emergency Rental Assistance program (CERA). The CERA program provides financial assistance for rent, utilities, and internet access to qualifying renters who have fallen behind on these payments due to COVID-19 hardship. Community Action Agency is the partner organization working on behalf of MSHDA in Jackson and Hillsdale counties. Housing Help of Lenawee is the MSHDA’s partner organization for renters in Lenawee County.


Recent Updates (as of January 2022):

  • Beginning in January 2022, households can no longer apply for Utility Assistance only; there must also be back rent owed. If back rent is owed, then CERA funds can also help with utilities and internet. If there is no back rent owed, then the CERA application will be denied.
  • CERA Applicants must owe rent between the dates on March 2020 – December 2021 to be eligible for the CERA program. If rent is only owed in 2022, you are not eligible for CERA.
  • If you DO owe rent in the required time frame (March 2020 – December 2021) then CERA can still assist with any 2022 rent owed and rent forward.
  • CAA can assist with re-certification for 2022 for anyone previously helped by the CERA program.


All applications for rent or utilities must be submitted through the State of Michigan CERA Portal: ceraapp.michigan.gov

Please review this list of required documentation BEFORE starting your application.

Those who are unable to use the CERA portal may find printed applications at: www.michigan.gov/cera  You may complete the information on line (using the fillable PDF) and then print it, or you can download/print the application and fill it out by hand.

Completed applications with all required supporting documentation can be emailed to: rentassist@caajlh.org or sent by US mail to:

Community Action Agency
Attn: CERA
1214 Greenwood Ave.
Jackson, MI 49203

Completed applications may also be placed in the Client Paperwork Drop Box located near the entrance of each CAA county office.

For questions about eviction, please call the Eviction Hotline at CAA at (517) 784-4800, ext. 1265. Please leave a message and someone will return your call.

CERA Program Assists Renters