Backed by Kresge and Lake Trust Credit Union, United Community Housing Coalition is equipped, but state deadlock keeps millions at bay
TROY, Mich – The federal government has allocated more than $ 600 million through Michigan’s CARES Act to help tenants facing eviction. And the Michiganders need help. Estimates show that in Detroit alone, tens of thousands of people face eviction or housing instability due to COVID-19.
But those dollars are tied up, as Michigan state leaders fail to come to an agreement – the Michigan House, Senate, and Governor’s Office have each issued unique plans to allocate the CARES Act dollars.
Meanwhile, time is running out, and the Troy-based and Brighton-based Kresge Foundation Lake Trust Credit Union intervened to provide support to United Coalition for Community Housing (UCHC), to ensure the non-profit housing organization has the funds it needs to serve residents as early as possible.
When a state plan is approved, rent assistance dollars will first go to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). From there, MSHDA will distribute the funds through local housing development companies. Detroit is expected to receive up to $ 94 million in funds, just under half of which is expected to go through UCHC, which has a growing database of tenants who need help avoiding eviction and housing. roaming possible.
Lake Trust Credit Union gave UCHC a loan of $ 5 million and Kresge issued an unfunded guarantee of $ 4.5 million on that $. These dollars will provide UCHC with the cash flow it needs to act quickly and responsibly to help as many families in the Metro Detroit area as possible, once the state of Michigan approves a plan.
“This is a good example of the ability of philanthropy to react quickly and flexibly in times of crisis,” said Rip Rapson, president of Kresge. “Everyone agrees on the need, the solution and the urgency to resolve the situation. But the political stars have not yet aligned. Foundations like Kresge can move forward to build a bridge until such time as vitally important dollars pour into the hands of Detroit residents who deserve and need help.
According to Lake Trust President and CEO David Snodgrass, “Lake Trust is driven by our commitment to be a driver of financial well-being for the community. The provision of financial support for this project responds to a direct need in the community we serve and Lake Trust is honored to work with Kresge to address this urgent situation.
A deadline of September 30 is looming, in which 65% of federal funds destined for Michigan must be spent or the federal government could recover unspent or unspent dollars.
“The money for rent assistance is there, just waiting to be allocated,” said Aaron Seybert, Kresge’s managing director, Social Investment Practice. “It is unfortunate that our guarantee and partnership with Lake Trust is needed, but the citizens of Detroit cannot wait. Michigan stands to lose millions of unallocated dollars in badly needed rent assistance, and we cannot afford to wait.
“We hope this guarantee signals to all Michigan leaders that organizations on the ground are ready to respond effectively and responsibly,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, General Manager of the Detroit program. across Michigan that would take years to repair.
Kresge’s Detroit program also provided a grant of $ 159,000 to UCHC to support the organization’s staff, outreach activities, and other expenses.