Homeless prevention and rehousing assistance in Oakland County Michigan.

Non-profits in Oakland County Michigan receive grants from the federal government as well as the state funded MSHDA in an effort to help prevent homelessness (from evictions or foreclosures) as well as to rehouse the homeless in the county. Several agencies, including the Alliance for Housing and Community Housing Network, are involved in offering this assistance across the county.

Clients can receive help in one of many ways. There may be grants used for paying rental or utility arrears, legal aid, assistance leasing an apartment, shelter or motel vouchers, and legal aid, but to name a few. There may also be rehousing available for the homeless, whether they live in a car or park, or just do not have stability in their lives. Each of the non-profits in Oakland County will decide how to use the funds they are allocated from MSHDA, so each program offered will in some ways be unique.

The main types of homeless prevention are listed below. Money is paid out on a first come and served basis, with a new batch of grants usually available in January. But the funds will run out. Even if an applicant is not qualified, or if funding has ended, referrals may be given.

Emergency Solution Grants (ESG) – This is normally the financial component. Federal government funds may be used to stop evictions or foreclosures, as well as rehouse the homeless. Everything from rent or a mortgage to heating bills or energy costs may be paid. The Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency is often a recipient of this funding.

SSVF – This can help homeless Oakland County veterans and their families. Or it also assists members of the military that have an eviction notice, that need help to move or pay the security deposit, or really any veteran with a housing need.

Shelters – Homeless invidious can be placed into emergency shelters, and non-profits such as the South Oakland Shelter provide this service. This provides them with a place to live, food, and a path to rehousing.

Section 8 Vouchers – Public housing authorities such as Community Housing Network (CHN) partner with the federal government to help rehouse the low income. Section 8 is an income based program that offers some money to pay rent, based on 30% of the tenant's income. It can be combined with eviction help and FSS (Family Self-Sufficiency) services.





Oakland County seniors and the disabled – Programs such as section 811 and others can also stop homeless of these groups. Vouchers are used for paying a portion of rent, deposits, or utility costs.

Free motel vouchers – County government and non-profits partner with Michigan State Housing Development Authority to provide motel rooms in a crisis. The SER service may also offer this form of help. It may be an option when all of the local shelters are full, or a free hotel room can be offered in a time of disaster.

Legal Help Self-Help Center of Oakland County – Advisers from this site can provide information on tenant legal rights when it comes to ending evictions and preventing homelessness. Staff are based at the Oakland County Courthouse, 1200 N. Telegraph, Pontiac Michigan. There are also attorneys from groups such as Legal Aid and Defender Association (dial (877) 964-4700) that offer free eviction defense service to low income families, immigrants, and those in poverty.

Transitional housing – The centers are part of the rapid rehousing process. Staff provide case management to the formerly homeless, and help them get back on the path to financial stability. Credit counseling, employment, and other matters are addressed, as well as future applications to grants from ESG for paying security deposits.

Free foreclosure counseling – This is a homeless prevention service for homeowners. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) partners with HUD approved agencies to offer solutions to families that are in arrears on their mortgage payments, and some of these may include payment plans or government aid.

HOPWA – This is a very focused housing assistance program. The formal name is Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and it can provide financial aid, homeless assistance, and even medical care to people impacted by HIV and/or AIDs.





Oakland County Department Of Health And Human Services – They run the SER grant program, which is an emergency eviction and rehousing service. The state can offer everything from funds to pay rent or utility deposits to assist with moving costs or back rent. A court summons is normally needed. There are offices in Pontiac, Troy, and other towns. Dial (248) 975-5200.

Many of the phone numbers for assistance are above. For additional information, including referrals to homeless prevention and rapid rehousing (HPRR) dial 1-800-552-1183. Callers will be given free information on where to turn to for help.

By Jon McNamara

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