DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The city of Dearborn Heights has established a program to assist low to moderate income individuals and families whose income has been negatively affected by COVID-19.
The Homeless Prevention Program (HPP) was initiated utilizing CARES Act funding to provide emergency grant payments for bills such as rent or mortgage payments and utilities over a period of up to three consecutive months.
The program issues the funds directly to the landlord, mortgage company, DTE or for water bills for residents who may be past due on these essential bills.
Community and Economic Development Department (CEDD) Director Joe Hachem has been promoting the program during City Council meetings for the last couple of months.
“We have about 15 applicants so far,” Hachem told The Arab American News. “We are here to help.”
Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and are not guaranteed assistance.
Applicants must be residents of Dearborn Heights, have a rent payment, mortgage payment, homeowner association dues, contract for deed payment, homeowner insurance payment, utility payment or housing-related payment with a due date of March 1 or later that is past due, and their outstanding housing-related expense is due to unemployment, illness or another issue that happened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents who currently receive rental assistance that adjusts with income are generally not eligible to apply for rental assistance utilizing this program, however can still apply with eligible utility expenses.
Hachem said that this program is only for essential bills.
“This isn’t to pay cable or Internet or phone bills,” he said. “This is to help pay for necessities for the household. Utilities and rent or mortgage are what are essential to the household and that’s what this funding is for.”
The city was given approximately $350,000 for this program.
Residents who apply will be asked to provide state issued identification, verification of balance owed, contact information for the organization to be paid and proof of total gross income for the last four weeks.
“We have the federal funding and the infrastructure in place,” Hachem said. “We just want the residents to know that we are here to help them. This is a great help to the community and there’s no requirement for payback, no interest, nothing.”
Applications will be accepted until either the money runs out or the year 2022.
“It’s a completely confidential process,” Hachem said. “Everything will be confidential and we will only report the number of households to officials, but no names or addresses will be mentioned.”
The city also has an Emergency Rehab Program that can help perform emergency repairs on homes needing emergency services to their roofs or HVAC systems.
“Residents should know there is help out there,” Hachem said. “It is our job to help our residents and that’s what we are here to do.”
Applications can be found online at //www.ci.dearborn-heights.mi.us/residents/community_and_economic_development.php and residents are encouraged to call the CEDD office at 313-791-3500 with any questions.