The main goal of Housing Services of Mid Michigan is to prevent homelessness. This can often be caused by various issues, such as mismanagement of money or a one time crisis. The non-profit takes a holistic approach to both providing financial assistance and counseling.
Services are available in Eaton, Ingham, Barry, and Clinton Counties. Some tenants or homeowners may qualify for a grant for paying housing costs, and others just receive advice. But the primary services available are below.
Help is for the Homeless. To receive support, the applicant must be currently living in a shelter or on the streets. They may also be in a car or in another place that is not meant for human habitation. Alternatively, the HSMM program will also accept a court order of eviction (judgment).
In an case, an appointment is always needed. In extreme instances involving families or individuals who are temporarily residing with family members or friends, an appointment can be scheduled in less time. No matter the case, the person can always discuss options and potential programs, as long as the applicant can show a letter, signed by the person with whom they are staying.
The documentation sent to Housing Services of Mid Michigan must show the date, and also state that the applicant is required to leave their current accommodations within the next few days. They also need to have a valid reason why he or she can no longer stay. If a loan is to be given to them for their rent or other expenses, the applicant must have sufficient income to afford any new housing they may find.
Tenants in counties such as Ingham or Clinton may sign up for Eviction Prevention. The applicant for this service must have a court-ordered eviction notice or a pay or quit letter. Also, each applicant must have housing that he or she can afford over the long term. HSSM will not help people retain housing or apartments that the applicant is unable to pay for.
Housing Services of Mid Michigan serves as a back-up for the state of Michigan DHS Department of Human Services, so it is necessary to first submit a State of Emergency (SER) application first. This will always need to be done before coming to Housing Services for Eviction Prevention assistance.
When applying for financial aid, please bring the following items to all appointments. The person needs.
Homeowners can get help too. Mid-Michigan families, including in Clinton and Eaton, who are facing foreclosure, and those who are currently in active filings with the court, have several options for managing the situation or preventing it altogether. Housing Services provides education and information on the process and available options for resolving the issue.
Solutions are as follows. People need to first contact the office at Housing Services to discuss making an appointment for assistance with communicating with a lender.
A Deed In-Lieu of Foreclosure involves returning the home’s deed to the bank and vacating the premises within a specified, brief period of time.
The other option many people take is a Short Sale. This is for homeowners who, for whatever reason, do not wish to keep their homes. When dealing with HSSM, a short sale involves working with a local real estate agent to sell the house within period of time. The price will be sent by the mortgage holder(s).
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program helps low-income individuals find and retain affordable housing in Eaton, Ingham, and Barry. There is a priority given to the disabled and seniors aged 65 years and over.
Vouchers and cash benefits are issued in the form of a grant that allows the participant to pay 30 percent of his or her monthly income toward rent. The state of Michigan as well as HUD pays the remainder directly to the landlord, based on Fair Market Rent limitations and reasonable rent.
HSMM is in receipt of a limited quantity of HUD Housing Choice Mainstream Vouchers, for the purpose of assisting Eaton and other County residents who have verifiable disabilities with obtaining suitable and affordable housing. In addition, HSMM provides full case management for program participants, as well as support services for landlords.
Many Michigan homeowners are facing hardship due to low wages, a short term reduction in work hours or unemployment. For these families, the Helping Hardest Hit Homeowners is the resource to assist with this issue. Please contact HSMM to ascertain that they are participating in the program and to learn whether or not a person will qualify for assistance from Helping Hardest Hit Homeowners.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program from Housing Services of Mid Michigan provides financial assistance for low-income individuals and families who are experiencing difficulty with paying their utility as well as heating bills. To ensure that help is available to all who need it, LIHEAP offers the following.
Regular LIHEAP will be for applicants and the grants can help them manage the ever-increasing home energy costs by furnishing payments of $150 to $300. Any aid is in the form of a credit and is applied as a credit to clients’ existing utility accounts. This assistance is restricted to once per year in Michigan, and participants are required to continue paying their utility bills until credits are applied.
When facing a shit off, Crisis Energy Assistance is an option. This helps individuals and families in an emergency by providing payments of up to $600. The funds will be applied as credits to the clients’ existing utility accounts. The program requires a final notice or actual disconnection from the tenant or homeowners.
The Housing Services IDA - Individual Development Accounts Program offers low to mid-income families assistance with saving funds toward the purchase of an asset, such as a first home. The program establishes a special savings account for the family, and then matches each deposit a client makes at a three-to-one-ratio.
The client will need to commit to a minimum of six months of participation, and to making a minimum deposit of $20 per month. The money grows quickly. As an example, once the client has deposited $1,000, their total balance is actually $4000, which is then used toward a down payment on a property.
To ensure each client’s success, the staff at Housing Services of Mid Michigan requires participation in case management. They will also need to take part in debt reduction practices, as well as home ownership and financial management classes.
HSMM’s Financial Capabilities course consists of eight free classes that help students learn and improve their money management skills. This is key to stopping homelessness as well. Class or workshop topicsare as follows.
Participants can learn to budget and develop good financial habits. Housing Services of Mid Michigan team will help them increase income as well as provide strategies for controlling overspending. They can resolve debt and improve credit score, learn the pros and cons of various credit options, and also avoid identity theft, predatory lenders, and housing discrimination.
There are offices in each county of Housing Services of Mid Michigan. They are as follows.
Barry County Office is at 231 S. Broadway, Ste. 103, Hastings, MI 49058, dial 517-541-1180
Clinton County – Address is 105 W. Tolles Dr., St. Johns, MI 48879, telephone - 517-231-3961
Eaton County Office is at 319 S. Cochran, Charlotte, MI 48813, call 517-541-1180
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