Macomb County – Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program (CERA) is available to assist you.

Are you behind on your rent? Are you awaiting your eviction? Macomb County and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) have developed a partnership to help persons who are income-eligible continue in their homes and pay any past-due rent. Renters who are experiencing difficulty maintaining their housing stability may be eligible for rental and utility assistance through the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance program.

For further information tailored exclusively toward landlords, please visit

If you have any questions, please contact us at (586)469-7900.


Who is Eligible to Apply?

CERA can help renter households with incomes that are less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) if they meet the following criteria:

  • Individual(s) living in the household qualified for unemployment benefits, experienced a decrease in household income, incurred significant costs, or faced other forms of financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and Individual(s) living in the household qualified for unemployment benefits.
  • A notice indicating the household’s rent or utilities are past due is evidence that one or more members of the household are in danger of becoming homeless or experiencing housing instability.

Who Is Ineligible to Apply?

  • Households with incomes that are at least 80% greater than the median income in the area
  • Households that cannot demonstrate “COVID-19 Hardship” (see below for more details) or are in danger of being homeless or experiencing housing instability.
  • Homeowner households are those that own their homes outright, have land contracts, or live on commercial premises.
  • Households that pay their rent and electricity bills on time and are not in arrears on either.

Macomb County’s maximum permitted gross income for each household size. To be eligible for the CERA program, the household’s annual income must be less than the quantities specified.

Qualifications To Participate In The CERA Program

Number of people in the household









Total Household Income (Very Low – 50% AMI)









Total Household Income (Low – 80% AMI)










How do I go about submitting my application?

For the best results, submit the CERA application by smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Paper applications are also accepted for landlords (link) and tenants (link) and can be dropped off or mailed in at the following locations:

  • DROPBOX may be found near the main entrance beneath the blue awning.
  • The Macomb County Family Resource Center is located at 196 North Rose Street, Mount Clemens, Michigan 48043.
  • M-F, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., DROP-OFF to MCA Staff (knock on the front door)
  • The Max Thompson Family Resource Center can be found at 11370 Hupp Avenue in Warren, MI 48089.
  • US MAIL, with specific attention paid to the CERA Program
  • 21885 Dunham Road, Suite 10, Clinton Township, MI 48036


Paper applications are available in Spanish and Arabic, in addition to English and French.

What types of documents must be submitted in order to determine a tenant’s eligibility?

Tenants are required to provide:

  • CERA tenant application that has been completed
  • A copy of the notice that the rent was past due, a notice to vacate the premises, or a copy of a summons, complaint, or judgment issued by a court.
  • The applicant must provide a photocopy of their driver’s license or passport (with proof of residency if the address does not match the unit)
  • The most recent copy of the lease agreement, bearing the tenant’s name (if a written lease was completed)
  • Please provide proof of all forms of income, both earned and unearned, for each adult member of the household over the age of 18 who resides at the property.
    • One month’s worth of household income or benefits (for example, unemployment or SSI), OR
    • A copy of the IRS Form 1040 submitted in 2020 (first two pages) OR
    • Form for Notification of Case Action for the Food Assistance Program (only applicable for households with 3 or less people)
  • The rental agreement includes a copy of ALL utility statements for which the tenant is responsible, if applicable.
  • A copy of the monthly or annual internet service bill, if applicable.
  • Documentation of COVID’s Struggle (see below on how to document COVID Hardship)

The Various Types of COVID Difficulties and the Documents Required 

  • A member of my family became eligible for unemployment benefits on March 13, 2020.
    • Letter of Financial Determination for Unemployment Benefits OR Screenshots of Payments and the Person’s Name from the Unemployment Website
  • One of the folks in my household lost 10% of their income after March 13, 2020.
    • A signed document that describes the applicant’s initial hours and pay rate, as well as the applicant’s decreased hours and pay rate during the COVID outbreak.
  • After March 13th, 2020, a member of my household incurred big expenses totaling more than $500.
    • A letter signed by the applicant that outlines the nature and extent of the extra costs incurred by the household as a result of the COVID epidemic.
  • After March 13, 2020, a member of my household had additional extreme financial hardship (in excess of $500).
    • A notarized letter from the applicant outlining the extent of the applicant’s financial difficulties as a result of the COVID outbreak.

What Kinds of Documents Do Landlords Need?

Landlords are responsible for the following duties:

  • A completed application for a CERA landlord license
  • A duplicate of the leasing agreement (if a written lease was completed)
  • Register detailing the renter’s payment history between 2020 and 2021.
  • W-9
  • Verification of any court expenses incurred, if applicable

Could you please help me with my utilities?

Yes, residences that qualify for the CERA program can receive utility assistance, including tenant-supplied electricity, home heating (using any type of fuel), water, sewer, and trash services (if billed along with another utility).

Household Size Maximum Total One Time Utility Payment (Includes Future Payment) Maximum Future Utility Payment as a Credit
1-2 persons $1,500 $300
3-4 persons $2,000 $500
5+ persons $2,500 $500

Tenants earning up to 50% of the area median income (AMI) are eligible for an additional $500 if they must pay off their utility arrears in full.

Priority is being placed on households.

To be eligible for aid under the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a household’s income must be less than fifty percent of the area’s median income. Furthermore, for the household to be eligible for assistance, at least one member of the home must have been unemployed for ninety days prior to the date of application. This prioritization has been implemented in Macomb County, Michigan, by allocating 70% of the CERA program funds to certain households and allowing them to receive assistance for the whole 18-month period. Households who do not fall into this priority group are only eligible for the first sixteen months of assistance.


How much financial aid am I entitled to with my rent?

  • AMI of up to 50%—rental aid for up to a year’s worth of stays
    • Three of the twelve months are set up for use if rent assistance is required in the future.
  • 50-80% of the time The AMI program provides rental assistance for up to ten months.
    • There are three months remaining in the ten-month period that can be applied to future rent assistance.
  • Tenants who require housing stability have the option of applying for an additional three months of rental assistance.

Is there a monthly cap on the amount I can receive, and if so, what is it?

Yes, the program ceiling is equal to 150 percent of your county’s HUD Fair Market Rent, which is determined by the size of your house.

I’m having difficulties affording my home internet subscription; would the program cover this cost?

It is true that households with home internet access who submit an application along with a recent internet bill or statement are eligible for a one-time $300 internet stipend. The $300 payment will be sent to either the Internet service provider or the tenant. Either way is OK.


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