Are You Being Evicted? Get Legal and Financial Help
Important to Know
- Funds are Available for Rent, Utilities, and Relocation from the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) program. An Application with documentation is required. Tenants or Landlords can apply. Renter households that have incomes less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), experienced financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus outbreak, and are behind on rent are eligible. Notice to the court of a CERA Application can delay evictions.
- The CDC Eviction Moratorium has been extended to June 30, 2021. This eviction prevention is not automatic. Tenants meet the requirements and give the Landlord a signed CDC Declaration Form. If a Tenant has previously provided a Declaration, a new form is not required.
What to do Next
- If you are behind on your rent or have past due utility bills, you should apply for CERA assistance now. You can apply even if your landlord has not given you a Complaint for Eviction, a Demand for Possession, or Notice to Quit. Information about how to apply is listed below.
- If you have been served with a Complaint for Eviction, you should apply for CERA assistance for help paying your back rent and contact to Legal Aid of Western Michigan. If you quality under the CDC moratorium, give your landlord a signed CDC Declaration Form. Give the Court notice that you have applied for assistance under CERA. A Notice form is available at the LAC.
- If you have already applied for CERA assistance for help paying your rent and you either (a) got help, or (b) were told you don’t qualify, find out if you qualify for protection under the CDC moratorium and if so, give your landlord a signed CDC Declaration form.
- If you’ve already given your landlord the CDC Declaration, but haven’t gone to court yet, you’ll have a hearing before you can be evicted. You should apply for CERA assistance for help paying your back rent and contact to Legal Aid of Western Michigan. Give the Court notice that you have applied for assistance under CERA. A Notice form is available at the LAC.
- If you gave your landlord the CDC declaration, and there is an eviction judgment against you, you may have another hearing, or the judge may sign an Order of Eviction. If you have an eviction judgment against you it is important to contact your HARA agency immediately and let them know of your situation. You should also contact Legal Aid of Western Michigan so they can help quickly in case you get a Writ or Order of Eviction.
- If you are given a Writ or Order of Eviction, contact Legal Aid of Western Michigan immediately.
Contacts for Kent County
- For CERA Information and Applications: www.kentrenthelp.org.
- For Legal Aid of Western Michigan: Call (616) 774-0672 or apply online at www.lawestmi.org.
- The Salvation Army (HARA): Call (616) 454-5840; (Eviction Diversion) Call (616) 454-5840, Ext. 3026
- Kent County Community Action: Call (616) 632-7950 or 211 (Emergency Housing/Utility Assistance)
How to Apply for the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program
- Online Portal: Go to www.kentrenthelp.org.
- By Email: Submit Application and documents or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- By Phone: For help completing your application or answers to questions, call 616-454-5840.
- In Person (Walk In):
The Salvation Army
1215 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Kent County Community Action
121 Franklin St SE Ste 110, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM
Hispanic Center of West Michigan (Spanish speaking assistance available)
1204 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Monday through Friday, 9am to 12 PM and 1:30 PM to 5 PM
Get Help at the Legal Assistance Center
The Legal Assistance Center offers guidance on next steps and can help you to understand available protections and the court process. The LAC also has CDC Declaration forms, CERA Application forms, and other court forms.
- In Person (Walk In):
Legal Assistance Center at Kent County Courthouse
180 Ottawa Avenue NW, 5th Floor, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 AM to 4 PM and Wednesday 9 AM to 1 PM.
- By Phone: Call 616-632-6000. Your call will be returned as promptly as possible.
- Online: For this information and links, go to www.legalassistancecenter.org.