MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has selected Community enCompass to be responsible for disbursing more than $11 million in housing assistance to Muskegon County residents this year.
Community enCompass will work with the Muskegon County Continuum of Care and another primary partner organization to effectively pass housing assistance funds from the state to individuals, a news release said Friday.
These funds came from the COVID-19 relief package Congress passed at the end of 2020, according to a spokesperson for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
Eviction rates in the county are three times the state average and four times the national average – hence the need for the new state funding.
“Muskegon has known high rates of evictions for decades,” said Michael Ramsey, homeless services director for Community enCompass. “In response, we’ve piloted innovative solutions to divert and prevent evictions in partnership with the court system, but the challenge has been that the rental assistance available in the community doesn’t match the tremendous need. This new funding changes that, and is an awesome opportunity for Muskegon to both address longstanding issues in our community and the negative impact COVID has had on our residents and neighbors, specifically related to basic housing costs (rent and utilities), in light of loss of income.”
The Housing Authority says the funds still need to be appropriated by the state legislature.