COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)

The State of Michigan’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“the Program”) is designed to keep
Michigan residents who fell behind on their rent and utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic in their
homes. The program utilizes a collaborative community process to expedite rental and utility assistance to
COVID-19 affected tenants and their landlords.

Service Agencies - Community Housing Network, Lighthouse MI, and OLHSA will work with tenants and landlords to provide rental, utility and internet assistance for eligible renter households. Legal services for renters will be provided by local legal aid organizations funded by grants made through the Michigan State Bar Foundation.

You can also check out the MSHDA CERA website for information.

English Version of CERA Flyer
This flyer is subject to change
Spanish Version of CERA Flyer
This flyer is subject to change
Arabic CERA Flyer
This flyer is subject to change
More Resources
If you want a paper application please click on TENANT APPLICATION to be able to print
The best way to apply is by using the online portal.
If you would like to apply online please click the PORTAL button.
Once you are in the portal, application language can be changed from English to Spanish or Arabic

If you have additional questions or need help with the application:


Who is eligible?

CERA can serve renter households that have incomes less than 80% of Area Median Income who meet the following conditions:
  • 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.

What documents are needed to show eligibility?

Renters will need the following documents/items (e.g., copies, pictures, screenshots, etc.)  along with their signed, fully completed CERA Application:

  • Copy of past-due rent notice, a notice to quit or a court ordered summons, complaint or judgement.

  • Copy of state ID or passport for the tenant applicant (with proof of residency if address does not match the unit).

  • Most current copy of lease agreement in tenant's name (if a written lease was completed).

  • Provide all proof of earned and unearned income for household members that live at the property and that are over the age of 18.

  • Household income/benefits (unemployment, SSI, etc.) for one month, OR

  • Copy of submitted 2020 IRS form 1040 (first two pages) OR

  • Food Assistance Program Notice of Case Action form (only applicable for households with 3 or less people).

  • Copy of ALL utility statements the tenant is responsible for, if applicable.
    Copy of Internet bill/statement, if applicable.


Screenshot 2021-03-15 094401.jpg
Eligible households for the CERA, can receive utility assistance for electricity, home heating (any type of fuel), water, and sewer.
Tenant Application for Additional Assistance

What about utilities?

What do landlords need to provide?

  • Landlords will need to provide:

    • Completed CERA Landlord Application

    • Copy of the lease (if a written lease was completed)

    • Ledger showing tenant’s payment history in 2020 and 2021

    • W-9

Or pick up applications at the locations listed below.

  • OLHSA; 196 Cesar E. Chavez Ave, Pontiac MI, 48342

  • Lighthouse’s Lathrup Village Office; 18505 W 12 Mile Rd, Lathrup Village, MI 48076

  • Community Housing Network; 5505 Corporate Dr #300, Troy, MI 48098

Submit applications based on your zip code!

  • Pontiac (48340, 48341, 48342, 48343) submit to OLHSA

  • Oak Park (48237), Royal Oak Township (48220), Royal Oak (48067, 48068, 48069, 48071) Huntington Woods (48070), Pleasant Ridge (48069), Ferndale (48069, 48220) Hazel Park (48071) and Berkley (48072 ) submit to Lighthouse MI

  • For all other Oakland County cities submit to Community Housing Network

  • For a full list of zip codes, Click here.

Please click on OWNER/LANDLORD APPLICATION for a paper version. This can also be completed through the PORTAL located above

You can drop off your application at the following agencies:

  • ​OLHSA; 196 Cesar E. Chavez Ave, Pontiac MI, 48342  

  • Lighthouse MI; 18505 W 12 Mile Rd, Lathrup Village, MI 48076

  • Community Housing Network; 5505 Corporate Dr #300, Troy, MI 48098

Click HERE for Landlord informational video

Click HERE for Landlord Webinar