Welcome to the first edition of Housing Access for Washtenaw County’s Monthly News Update. This post contains valuable information about HAWC’s programs and updates on our impact.
CERA Program Eligibility Updates
The CERA program is a rental assistance program which is designed to keep Michigan residents who fell behind on their rent during COVID-19 in their homes. HAWC and SOS Community Resources (SOS) have worked in tandem in the last year to allocate assistance to many households in Washtenaw County. In January, the eligibility requirements changed, resulting in many applications across the county being denied. However, the eligibility changed again in March, making many of these tenants eligible once again under the new eligibility. If your application was denied and you believe you may be eligible again under the new guidance, please submit a recertification to your original application using your original CERA number on the CERA Portal. HAWC & SOS appreciate your understanding in this ever-changing landscape.
To be eligible for the CERA Program, you now must:
In addition to your application, you will also need to provide:
You may still be eligible if you cannot provide proof of income or ID
To APPLY for CERA
Apply through the CERA portal. If you do not have access to a computer or are unable to complete this application online, please complete the paper application and send the required documentation, as well as the completed application to HAWC.CERA@usc.salvationarmy.org or drop off your application to the Salvation Army at 100 Arbana Dr in Ann Arbor.
Download the CERA Initial Paper Application (for new applicants - English)
Download the CERA Solicitud del Arrendatario (for new applicants - Spanish)
Download the CERAطلب المستأجر (for new applicants - Arabic)
Download the CERA Recertification Paper Application (for returning applicants)
If you are not eligible for CERA, but are still behind on your rent
HAWC may still be able to help if you meet the following eligibility requirements:
If you believe you are eligible, call HAWC’s Intake Line at (734) 961-1999.
If you are facing eviction but are not behind on rent
To check the status of a pending CERA application
HAWC Intake Updates
Our HAWC Intake Staff is responsible for being the initial point of contact for all those experiencing a housing crisis in Washtenaw County. Our intake staff is currently working extremely hard to manage the required capacity. Please be patient with our staff as they navigate these understaffing challenges.
Intake Call Reports
For a better understanding of HAWC’s intake operations, please see the below statistics from the month of March (February 28 - April 1).
Please note, the percentage of calls returned does not account for those calls which were inaudible voicemails, and the call could not be returned. Additionally, some calls were determined to be duplicates, which occurs when a caller leaves more than one voicemail before their call is returned. Our intake staff will only call back these callers once for multiple calls. Our intake team is working hard to meet the needs of Washtenaw County residents.
Ways You Can Help!
Family Shelter and Diversion Updates
Family Shelter Program
Our family shelter program was able to provide shelter for 13 families in the month of March, which were made up of groups of adults and children who were experiencing a housing crisis. Two of those families were able to transition into shelter space elsewhere in the county once it became available. Two additional families were able to move into their own apartments last month. Five additional families are simply waiting for their new rental units to be ready to move into! The remaining families are working with HAWC staff in hopes of securing a safe place to call home.
Family Shelter Diversion Program
At this time, shelter space in Washtenaw County is full and if you are experiencing a housing crisis, HAWC may not be able to assist you immediately. This limited shelter space is filled by way of community partnership, informed by triage tools. However, in the interim, our Family Shelter Diversion Specialist works with families in Washtenaw who are experiencing a housing crisis in attempts to remedy their housing barriers before they even get into shelter! By working towards self-sufficiency prior to a shelter stay, families can utilize this as their best option.
Shelter diversion is a strategy that prevents homelessness for people seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternative housing arrangements, and, if necessary, connecting them with services and financial assistance to help them return to permanent housing, prior to beginning a shelter stay.
Our Housing Resource Specialists work hard to prevent homelessness using one-time monetary assistance strategies. Working in tandem with community partners, clients are referred to HAWC for rental assistance and move-in assistance. Our rental assistance program currently is working to assist clients who are at risk of homelessness but are not eligible for the CERA program. Our HRS team was able to approve seven eviction prevention applications in the month of March. Our HRS team also works to support clients who have found new units in Washtenaw County and would not be able to move in without financial assistance to bridge a large gap. Our HRS team worked to approve six move-in assistance cases in March 2022.
HAWC Job Postings
Interested in working with HAWC? See the below job postings!
To inquire about any of these positions, reach out to Margaret Behnke, HAWC Associate Program Coordinator for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions? Contact Us!
HAWC Intake Line: (734) 961-1999 | Mailing Address: 100 Arbana Dr Ann Arbor, MI 48013