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Rent and housing assistance in Michigan.

People who need help paying rent, deposits, or relocating may be able to get assistance from the Michigan Department of Human Services, which is commonly called DHS and phone number is below. Not only will the government provide housing services, but they will also offer self-sufficiency programs for renters, such as job training programs.

A focus of the financial aid provided by DHS is on people who are actively seeking employment and who are trying to improve their financial and personal situations. The Michigan Department of Human Services also works with local non-profit agencies and other community partners and volunteers to support individuals as needed. For example, clients of the program will be able to work with a volunteer to get your resume reviewed or receive help in completing an application for rental assistance or section 8 vouchers.

Families and individuals who also have run out of public assistance may also qualify for housing services, as funding allows. Work with a DHS social worker to learn about your options, to connect with available housing in your community and apply for emergency rental resources. All this is done while the person will create a plan for independence.

Not only will you be able to explore housing and rental programs, but Michigan social workers will help recipients determine if they are eligible for and also help people apply for other financial assistance programs. Examples of this range from job placement initiatives, food assistance, Medicaid, child care, cash grants, as well as temporary rental assistance.

Section 8 vouchers are also offered by the Michigan Department of Human Services. Note that this low income housing program will often have a waiting list for any new applicants.

The federal government funded section 8 housing voucher program provides rent subsidies for very low income and working poor people. Clients of the service will be able to find their own housing units in private homes and/or apartment buildings. Almost 30,000 people across the state have their vouchers administered by MSHDA. Both landlord and tenants can benefit, as a landlord will be able to plan on receiving rental income, and of course a tenant will be able to locate and live in safe and affordable housing or apartments. Find information on Michigan agencies that run Section 8.




Relocation Assistance is offered by Michigan in a limited number of situations. Financial assistance for paying for these relocation expenses may include, but is not limited to, providing money for first months rent, security deposits, rent arrearage, and moving expenses for families and individuals.

Assistance for relocation is only offered in a limited number of situations. This resources will also have limited funding and is not a focus of DHS. The state may be able to assist a small number of the people who apply. Access relocation services if one or more of the following circumstances exist.

  • If someone received an eviction notice, a court summons, or an order or judgment that will result in the family becoming homeless, this individual may qualify for housing assistance in Michigan.
  • The applicant needs to be living in a shelter, a car, or be homeless and on the street.
  • Someone who is living with other persons to escape a domestic violence situation may receive assistance in relocating to a new, safer home or apartment.
  • The family is living temporarily with other persons following a natural disaster such as a fire or flood that occurred not more than 60 days before the date the group files an application for Michigan SER.
  • For those who live in a home that will be condemned, Michigan may have some funds for moving, deposits, and relocating to a new home.
  • The applicant needs adequate housing and rental assistance to avoid a foster care placement or before a child or children can come home from foster care.

In some cases, a DHS social worker or specialist, with approval of their supervisor, determines if the family must be relocated from an unsafe apartment or housing or for the protection of the children. So a formal assessment will take place.





For more information on these Human Service rental and housing programs, dial 1-855-275-6424 to get information. Specialists from a local DHS office will offer information on any of these Michigan housing resources.

By Jon McNamara

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