DHS and State Housing Authority Team Up to Provide Additional Rent or Mortgage Assistance
Beginning today, families affected by cash benefit lifetime limits could qualify for a total of six months housing assistance through a Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) program. Michigan Department of Human Services Director Maura D. Corrigan and a MSHDA Executive Director Gary Heidel announced today that MSHDA would provide up to an additional three months rental or mortgage assistance, in addition to the existing three months currently being provided by DHS, for families affected by the cash assistance lifetime limits.
The temporary assistance will come from the newly introduced MSHDA/FIP Time Limited Assistance program. The Family Independence Program (FIP) is a temporary cash assistance program provided through DHS for low-income families with minor children and pregnant women and helps pay for living expenses such as rent, heat, utilities, clothing, food and personal care items.
"As a housing provider for low-income families and our strong partnership with DHS, we intend to match their three-month rental or mortgage assistance offer with an additional three months for the same population,:" said Heidel. "We have stepped up to the plate with $1 million over the next two years to help these families have stable lives in their communities and neighborhoods while they are finding jobs and getting back on their feet."
DHS is contacting families who are reaching their three month limit in rent assistance to facilitate an extension through MSHDA's program. Families who take advantage of this program must meet certain overall criteria, including a self-initiated job search and reporting through Michigan works during the first three months. In addition, for any extension of three months of MSHDA assistance, verifiable job search will be required, including a minimum number of job applications.
"Together with MSHDA, our department is working to provide the temporary rental assistance families need as they concentrate on finding employment," said DHS Director Maura D. Corrigan.
Referrals must be made by a designated DHS staff person to the local Housing Assessment and Resource Agency (HARA) and eligibility will be based on DHS referral to the HARA of the recipient, with supporting documentation that their Temporary Housing Assistance rental or mortgage assistance will be exhausted within 30 days of the referral date.
Families with questions regarding this program should contact their local DHS office for assistance. For more information on the Department of Human Services, visit www.michigan.gov/dhs.