Are you facing a housing crisis? Let us help you navigate the housing programs to help you find what you need.
On any given night, Michigan has over 8,000 people experiencing homelessness.
Because of limited funding, only 1 in 4 eligible households receive rent payment assistance.
The average wait time for subsidized housing is over 2 years.
Getting Help in Michigan
Safe and affordable housing continues to be the top need in Michigan and throughout the country. No matter if you are a renter, homeowner or unhoused, Michigan 211 can help connect you with the program you need.
If you need a safe place to stay tonight, search here.
Programs authorized under federal or state legislation or local government initiatives that provide financial assistance and supportive services for individuals and/or families who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Included are prevention programs that help people at imminent risk for homelessness preserve current housing or secure alternative housing; diversion programs that help people actively seeking shelter to identify and access viable alternatives including shared housing arrangements and transitional housing/shelter; and rapid re-housing programs that help people who are already homeless move as quickly as possible into permanent housing. Services may include case management, rental deposits, rent assistance, utility deposits, housing search assistance, moving expenses, expenses related to non-shelter temporary housing in situations where permanent housing has been secured but is currently unavailable, and other costs the family may incur in the process of acquiring or maintaining housing. Allowable activities, eligibility criteria and other requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction, the funding source and the focus of the program.
Programs, usually sponsored by community organizations or coalitions, that provide temporary shelter for homeless people, generally in dormitory-style facilities with very little privacy. Most community shelters offer support services which may include counseling, advocacy, referrals and help with future plans; and enforce house rules including curfews and mandatory household chores. Participation in religious activities is either optional or not a part of the program. There may be differences in intake, length of stay and amenities in family oriented facilities and those that target other specific populations.
Programs that coordinate requests for emergency shelter by screening homeless individuals who apply using criteria established by the shelters, maintaining lists of individuals who have been aided, and checking new applicants against the lists before referring them to a resource that can meet their needs. Emergency shelter clearinghouses help to avoid duplication of service and maximize the availability of shelter resources while relieving the agencies of the task of handling requests directly. Also included are programs that refer people needing shelter to an appropriate resource, but which are not the sole source for this information.
Programs that provide shelter and a safe place to sleep as well as access to food, medical care and other types of assistance for children and/or youth who have run away from or been pushed out of their homes, or who are acting out and at risk for abuse pending return to their own families or a suitable alternative placement. The most common causes for youth becoming homeless, in addition to being kicked out of their homes or running away, are being abandoned or neglected, experiencing financial hardship, aging out of foster care, conflicts related to their sexual orientation, having a substance use disorder or experiencing the death of a family member or guardian. Such facilities usually provide in-house individual, group and family counseling and the full range of other secondary services related to runaways and other homeless youth including referral to appropriate resources. Homeless youth are different than homeless adults because they often have not learned the essential life skills needed to live on their own such as how to drive or ride a bus, get a job or pay bills. Homeless youth are also more likely than other youth their age to experience mental illness, suffer poor health, drop out of school, and become involved with or victims of criminal activity, including being exploited, abused or even killed.
Programs that provide temporary emergency shelter for individuals, primarily women, who have experienced domestic violence/abuse, and for their children. Such facilities usually provide in-house individual, group and family counseling and the full range of secondary services related to domestic violence including referral to appropriate resources. Also included are similar facilities for battered men and those that can accommodate both men and women, where they are available.
Programs that provide shelter, care and support services, which often include counseling regarding future plans and instruction in child care and development, for pregnant individuals who are unable to remain in their own homes.
Centers where homeless people can spend time during the day or evening. Services may include counseling and/or medication monitoring on a formal or informal basis; personal hygiene supplies; facilities for showering, shaving, napping, laundering clothes, making necessary telephone calls or attending to other personal needs; and other basic supportive services. Some centers may also provide meals or facilities for cooking. Programs that focus on homeless youth may provide case management, living skills training, family reunification assistance, classes and other educational supports, pre-employment training, health education (including HIV prevention), help in obtaining valid ID and other services that help youth successfully exit street life and transition to independent living.
Housing Expense Assistance
If you have a home, but are struggling to make payments, search here.
Programs that make rental payments for people who are at risk of eviction without assistance. Also included are rent supplement programs that provide assistance with ongoing monthly rental costs. Rent payment assistance programs may have age, income, disability, need or other eligibility requirements.
Programs that provide cash grants or loans for people who are in the process of acquiring rental housing and who can handle the monthly rental payments, but who do not have the assets to pay the first month’s rent, in some cases, the last month’s rent, and any security deposits required to move in.
Programs that make mortgage payments for people who are at risk of losing their homes without assistance. Mortgage payment assistance programs may have age, income, disability, need or other eligibility requirements. Some of these programs may also provide assistance for people who have a mobile home sales contract or land contract and need help making a payment that is due. Land contracts are written legal agreements that are used to purchase real estate (e.g., vacant land), a house, an apartment building, a commercial building or other real property but are negotiated with the property owner rather than borrowing money from a bank or other lender.
Programs that provide financial assistance to enable people to pay all or a portion of their property taxes with the objective of preventing them from becoming homeless. Property tax payment assistance programs may have age, income, disability, need or other eligibility requirements.
Programs that pay the monthly or annual fees owed to the operator of a manufactured home or mobile home park to cover costs associated with the lease or rental of the piece of land on which the manufactured home or mobile home is situated. A lot fee may cover not only rental/lease of the land but also garbage disposal, utilities or other services. Manufactured home lot fee payment assistance programs may have age, income, disability, need or other eligibility requirements.
Housing Support Programs
If you are at-risk of losing your home or need to speak with someone about your housing situation, search here.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are unable to make their mortgage payments and at risk of losing their homes through foreclosure or who are already in the foreclosure process. Services may include information about the foreclosure process, legal timelines and how to contact and negotiate with a lender; assessment of the homeowner’s financial situation and development of a plan to address homeownership and financial issues; in-depth financial counseling regarding foreclosure avoidance options and/or options that involve leaving the home; advocacy with lenders, when necessary; and referrals to foreclosure prevention resources. Also included are programs that provide mediation services to negotiate a compromise between the individual and the financial institution that holds their mortgage in order to avoid foreclosure.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are unable to make their property tax payments and at risk of losing their homes through tax foreclosure.
Agencies funded by the federal Office of Housing and Urban Development to provide prepurchase and mortgage default counseling, home equity conversion (reverse mortgage) counseling and information about the HUD rent assistance program for current and prospective purchasers and tenants.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are being evicted from their apartments or other rental property either wrongfully or with reason, e.g. nonpayment of rent. Included are programs that provide legal support in the form of information on tenants’ rights, help to navigate the eviction process, and/or mediation services to negotiate a compromise between the individual and the landlord. Eviction prevention programs can also provide a Housing First approach and include various strategies designed to maintain individuals and families in their current housing, such as rent payment assistance, financial assistance with the cost of utilities, assistance securing other types of income support, third-party money management programs, and referrals to other types of community support.
Programs that provide legal counseling and/or representation for low-income individuals who need assistance in routine legal matters, usually in the area of bankruptcy, housing, public benefits, family law, elder law or immigration/naturalization.
Programs that help people who want to purchase a home evaluate their readiness for homeownership, shop for housing that meets their needs, resolve potential credit problems, analyze specific home purchase offers, obtain a mortgage loan with advantageous interest rates and an affordable monthly payment, and complete the paperwork to close the loan and complete the sale. Also included are programs that provide assistance for people who want to refinance a home.
Home Improvement and Repairs
If you own your home but need help with repairs to keep it safe and maintained, search here.
Programs that provide assistance for people who need to do routine maintenance on their homes or make minor repairs.
Programs that provide cash assistance for people who need to make essential repairs to their homes in order to eliminate health or safety hazards or improve their security. Most grant programs cover major repairs, system upgrades and replacements (e.g., plumbing, heating or electrical systems) but not minor repairs. Age, income, disability or other eligibility requirements may apply.
Programs that provide assistance in the form of labor and supplies for people with disabilities who need to restructure their bathrooms in order to make bath, shower and toilet facilities accessible.
Programs that provide assistance in the form of labor and supplies for people with disabilities who need to modify multilevel homes or homes that have entrances preceded by steps in order to make them accessible by installing sloping walkways which transcend the levels.
Programs that pay for or provide new or reconditioned heating systems. Furnaces are powered by wood, coal, oil, propane, natural gas or electricity and pump heated air throughout a home or other building using a system of ducts. Some systems heat water which circulates through radiators. Included are programs that provide grants or loans for furnace replacement.
Programs that provide assistance in the form of labor and supplies to help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes and protect them from the elements. The program provides ceiling insulation, attic venting, double glazed windows, weather-stripping, minor housing envelope repairs, low-flow showerheads, evaporative cooler vent covers, water heater blankets, pipe wrap, duct wrap, switch and outlet gaskets, caulking, and other related energy conservation measures. Weatherization programs may have age, income, disability or other eligibility requirements.
If you are low-income, an older-adult or person with a disability, search here.
Programs that maintain information about retirement residences, residential care facilities and nursing homes, and link older adults who are looking for alternative living options with appropriate independent or supervised living resources.
Residential facilities specially constructed or converted to combine housing and supportive services in a “homelike” environment with the goal of maximizing the individual functioning and autonomy of residents. Assisted living facilities generally have private apartment-style accommodations with walk in showers, wide doors for wheelchair access, emergency pull cord systems and other special amenities; and offer the individualized array of personal care services which will allow each resident to function as independently as possible. Services vary from facility to facility, but usually include three meals a day with special diets, as required; housekeeping and linen services; personal laundry; social and recreational activities; transportation to medical appointments, stores and community services; money management assistance; assistance with toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing, mobility and other activities of daily living; medication management and administration; therapy and pharmacy services; and wellness and exercise programs. Assisted living facilities may be licensed by the state or may not require a license depending on the area in which they are located.
Retirement hotels, inns, boarding homes and other similar residential facilities where low-income older adults and/or people with disabilities can live independently on their own, usually in one building, share common areas, social activities and amenities and have most meals in a communal dining area. Most of the residences feature a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartment style accommodations, rented on a monthly basis, with interior corridors, elevators, small kitchenettes and emergency intercoms or pull cord systems as a safety feature. There may also be special wheelchair access rooms or other amenities designed to make it easier for elderly residents to reside comfortably and safely in their apartments. Housekeeping, social activities, and transportation services may be included and laundry services may be available for an additional fee. Residents pay no entry fees, make no long term financial commitments (other than the usual cleaning and security deposits) and may leave whenever they choose.
Programs that provide housing in a group setting for adults with developmental disabilities, sensory impairments, physical disabilities, emotional disabilities or multiple disabilities in facilities like small homes, apartment buildings, condominiums or agency-owned complexes which may be staffed to provide functional skills training and on-site supportive services. Residents generally have basic self-help skills or take responsibility for employing and supervising aides to assist them in meeting their personal needs. Staff may be available on a 24-hour basis or only occasionally depending on the specific needs of residents. Included are short-term transitional programs for people who are preparing for supported or totally independent living as well as long-term programs for people who may want to be permanent residents.
Residential facilities, apartments and/or planned communities for older adults, people with disabilities or other populations that are available at market rates and designed to enable those who are eligible to have a form of independent living in a secure environment while sharing common interests and having access to supportive services and a range of activities designed to promote social contact among residents. Occupancy by families with children may be discouraged. Housing varies widely from simple apartments to high rise condominiums to single family detached housing to housing in a congregate setting; and units may be available on a purchase or rental basis. Support usually consists of “convenience services” which may include an on-site activities program, transportation, housekeeping and meals in a communal dining room. Residents who require additional support need to make their own arrangements for personal care, home health care or other in-home services. These facilities generally require no licensing.
Agency-supervised private family homes that provide alternative family living arrangement for older adults or adults with disabilities who need supervision and personal care (but generally not nursing care) and who do not live with their families. The arrangement provides an opportunity for the individual to become a participating member of the family and the community in which the family resides, and to share in the interaction and responsibilities of being a part of a family. Foster care for older adults and/or people with disabilities may not be available in all states; and some jurisdictions may permit the provision of rehabilitation services, nursing care and other medical services. Some adult foster homes may specialize in providing care for adults with developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, mental health issues or other specific conditions. Licensing requirements vary considerably from area to area.
Community-based, peer-group-oriented, residential facilities that provide food, shelter and recovery services in a supportive, non-drinking, drug-free environment for people who have completed a hospital or residential substance use disorder rehabilitation program and need continued support in a residential setting to sustain their recovery. Services may include case management, relapse prevention counseling, 12-step meetings, educational and vocational planning, recreational activities and assistance in obtaining health, social, vocational and other services available in the community. Residents are expected to abide by house rules which vary from facility to facility. The objective is to help people who are recovering from an alcohol and/or other drug use disorder bridge the gap between intensive treatment and independent sober living.
Privately owned rental housing that is made available to low-income individuals and families at reduced rates based on a contract between HUD or the state housing authority and the property owner. Subsidies are paid directly to the owner of the property who then rents units to income-eligible individuals and families. Also included are low-cost or below market rate housing that is operated or sponsored by religious or charitable organizations for the benefit of low-income individuals and families; and rental housing targeted to lower income households that has been purchased, rehabilitated or constructed by developers who are receiving a federal income tax credit under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program or are participants in other similar affordable housing incentive programs. Some privately owned rental units that were developed or improved with public funds are also required to rent a designated number of units at reduced prices to people who meet low-income eligibility requirements until the federal or state loans are paid. Some complexes or housing units may be reserved for low-income older adults, people with disabilities and/or other special populations. Included are income-based rental housing where tenants pay rent that is geared to their income; as well as fixed below market rate rental housing where rent is lower than what people would normally pay renting the unit but is based on a specified percentage of the median income for the area rather than on a percentage of an individual’s actual income, and tenants may have to be within a specified income range to live there. Rental amounts and the level of “affordability” may vary considerably among programs.
A federally-supported, tenant-based housing program administered by local housing authorities that provides assistance in the form of vouchers that enable income-eligible families to find and lease approved privately owned housing where the landlord has agreed to enter into a contract with the housing authority and/or finance agency. Tenant-based assistance provides rental subsidies that move with a household into any qualifying housing within a certain area. The housing can be (and often is) private housing that may not have been built with the intention of accepting solely low-income tenants, but if the quality and cost of the unit fall within a specified range, it may qualify. Eligible households pay approximately 30% to 40% of their adjusted gross income for rent and the housing authority subsidizes the balance.