DETROIT — Detroiters facing eviction after a temporary state freeze expired - now have an extension.
The 36th Detroit Court announced the extension of its moratorium on evictions for the City of Detroit Thursday, upon the expiration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-118.
The court’s moratorium will now extend through Aug. 15.
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“We want to ensure that as our number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise, no one is left facing homelessness at this critical time. Removing people from their homes right now could prove to be devastating, as our efforts to control this virus depend upon the ability of all to self-isolate, practice social distancing, and exercise frequent hand-washing.” Stated Chief Judge William C. McConico.
The 36th District Court began its eviction moratorium on March 13, 2020, prior to the Executive Order instituting the same by Whitmer.
“We do not want folks displaced from their homes if there is anyway that we can help it.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Wednesday that $11.5 million is now available to help Detroit residents who are facing eviction. The funds are for free legal defense and rental assistance.
The city is setting up a hotline for people who will need help staying in their homes. Detroit residents at risk of a potential eviction should go to www.DetroitEvictionHelp.com or call 866-313-2520 to get the process started as soon as possible.
To be eligible, a Detroit resident must be income-eligible and have a notice to quit or a court order summons, complaint or judgment against them.
Renters will qualify based on their current household income and family size.
The city is assisting with free legal help and with some funds to help pay for the backlog in rent, so you won’t be facing homelessness.
“More now than ever that we don’t have housing disruption, especially during a pandemic,” said Donald Rencher, the city’s Director of Housing and Revitalization.
Duggan says they will be providing assistance because, while they don’t want people removed from their homes, they cannot say to landlords that they can’t evict people for not paying their rent.
If you’re a landlord that’s ready to evict a tenant, the city wants you to tell your tenant about the assistance, which then helps you out.
The 36th District Court has put a ban on evictions until August 15 but the city encourages tenants to start inquiring about the program as soon as possible.
If you can’t find a way to stay in your home, the city can also help with relocation.
Rencher added, “Make sure people are taking the opportunity to take advantage of it.”
Duggan says those landlords have mortgage payments they need to make. Duggan says that while Detroit has done well in containing COVID-19, with this being the second week with only one death, the city now has to deal with the economic fallout.