Expiration of Michigan Residential Eviction Moratorium and Creation of Residential Eviction Diversion Program
On July 16, 2020, Michigan’s statewide residential eviction moratorium, which was created pursuant to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-118, was rescinded.¹ A new Eviction Diversion Program (“EDP”) takes its place, pursuant to Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-134.
The EDP seeks to keep Michigan residents who are delinquent in rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic in their homes. With $50 million of funding, the EDP will benefit tenants with up to 100% of area median income (with greater assistance for tenants with lower levels of income). The program offers landlords lump sum payments for up to 90% of rent that is delinquent and that accrued during the pandemic, in exchange for forgiving late fees and up to 10% of the delinquent rent. The program is being administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) through its network of nonprofit homeless service providers, known as Housing Assessment and Resource Agencies (HARAs). In order to participate, both a landlord and tenant must apply for the program through their local HARA. Landlords should contact their local HARA to determine the specific application procedure. Further information, including application materials and contact information for HARAs, is contained on MSHDA’s website.
Meanwhile, the backlog of evictions is currently governed by Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-17 (the “Order”), which provides a temporary order of priority and process for clearing eviction proceedings. Generally speaking, evictions based on injury to the premises or to an individual are prioritized under the Oder, followed by complaints for nonpayment, with the most seriously delinquent cases prioritized first.
Landlords with qualifying tenants may benefit from the payments for delinquent rent under the EDP. Landlords whose tenants do not qualify or who elect not to participate should understand that evictions will be governed by the Order for the time being, and that evicting tenants will not be business as usual.
¹The 36th District Court of the State of Michigan has extended a moratorium on evictions in the City of Detroit through August 15, 2020. We are not aware of any additional local extensions of eviction moratoriums in Michigan.