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COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)

by Whitney Hahnenberg
Monday, March 22, 2021

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) will administer the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program through its network of local nonprofit agencies starting March 15, 2021. CERA can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability.  Locally, the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency will be administering this program. 


  • Renter households that have incomes less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) 
  • Individual(s) in the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or has experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak; AND 
  • Individual(s) in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability evidenced by a past due utility or rent notice. 


  • MSHDA will have an online application portal for application intake available at the end of March or beginning of April.
  • Until the online application portal is available, tenants can apply the following ways: 

1. Find the forms on the MSHDA website, complete them and email to prevention@nmcaa.net; OR
2. Contact NMCAA if you need paper applications mailed to your address by calling 1-844-900-0500 (press #2)

Find all this information on the MSHDA website by clicking here.