Community Housing Network (CHN) fields thousands of calls as Oakland County residents face the risk of eviction after the state’s mandated eviction moratorium was lifted in mid-July. As Oakland County’s largest housing assistance nonprofit, Community Housing Network is working with individuals to help them access.
“We knew that when the pandemic started and the eviction moratorium and mortgage foreclosures went up, that many people wouldn’t understand that they would have a back-up of unpaid rent payments at the end of that time period,” said Kirsten Elliot, Community Housing Network vice president of development. “Now, there are thousands of individuals and families who have lost jobs, or been out of work, with eviction notices and no way to catch back up.” That is where CHN is stepping in.
“On July 16th, we had more than 200 calls come into our Housing Resource Center requesting help,” said Lisa Chapman, Community Housing Network director of community programs and outreach. “We’ve received grant funds as a United Way-partner agency to help with rental housing assistance in some cases. For others, we are able to guide them through the Eviction Diversion Program process.”
CHN is also helping by guiding individuals through Oakland County’s Rent, Mortgage & Utility Relief Program. Residents who have fallen behind on their rent, mortgage or utility payments because of a lost job or other income reduction due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a one-time grant of up to $15,000 per household.
The program is for eligible Oakland County residents with a certain income level and will pay up to three months of past-due rent, mortgage, and utility bills as a result of a temporary job loss, reduction in work hours or other income hardship caused by the COVID-19
“The resources are there, but more will be needed as people continue to struggle with unemployment and eviction notices continue to grow,” says Elliot. “Community Housing Network will continue to be a housing support resource for those in need. And, we are asking for continued support on the county, state and national level to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are safe at home during this time.”
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.
For more information and resources, visit www.michigan.gov/EDP or www.oakgov.com/covid/grants/Pages/rent-mortgage-utility-relief.aspx