Community Housing Network (CHN) was recently awarded a grant by the United Way of Southeast Michigan to support Metro Detroit individuals in need of housing assistance due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The grant allows CHN to increase its capacity meeting the demand for homeless response, emergency housing assistance and prevention.

“It’s more important than ever that individuals reach out to us as soon as they realize they will have a need,” said Marc Craig, President and CEO, Community Housing Network. “We would like to see if we can help families long before an eviction notice comes and are encouraging them to reach out to our Housing Resource Center.

CHN is educating individuals on the importance of seeking rent assistance prior to the completion of the state’s moratorium on evictions. Community Housing Network’s Housing Resource Center (HRC) continues to see an increase in calls related to the crisis.
• Throughout the course of calendar year 2019, the HRC handled 20,680 calls.
• In Oakland county, there has been a 14% increase in homelessness from 2015-2018.
• During 2015-18 there was a 38% increase in the number of seniors experiencing homelessness (456 in 2018), a third for the first time and 8 in 10 reported having a disability. This is consistent with national data and a high-risk population for COVID-19.
• Previously identified lack of shelter space in Oakland county is further strained by this crisis.
• Lack of affordable housing units and the prioritization of those most in need causes only those that are literally homeless with a disability to qualify for the available units, with many of those that are prioritized being chronically homeless long term.

“We are grateful for the United Way of Southeast Michigan for seeing this urgent need and making funds available for us to step in and help our most vulnerable residents. Through this grant, we are also able to support local small businesses, many of whom are landlords with tenants unable to pay rent during these times,” said Craig. “We want building and affordable housing owners to know that we can help their tenants catch up on their rent and stay housed safely.”

With little to no income for many hourly workers, the community’s most vulnerable residents are left to navigate the lasting effects of this health crisis. Community Housing Network encourages anyone facing housing crisis, or in need of rent assistance, to visit communityhousingnetwork.org for more information on crisis housing assistance.

About CHN
Community Housing Network is a nonprofit organization committed to providing homes for people in need through proven strategies of homeless prevention, housing assistance and development, community education and referral, advocacy and additional services. The organization carries out its work in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. For the past six years it was recognized by the Detroit Free Press as a Top 100 Workplace and in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 was honored as a Crain’s Cool Place to Work. For more information, visit www.communityhousingnetwork.org.