Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, on Biden’s VP shortlist, created “eviction diversion” program

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When housing advocates were pressuring Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to extend her COVID-19 eviction moratorium and landlords were saying it would result in their financial ruin, the only Midwesterner on former Vice President Joe Biden’s whittled-down VP shortlist came up with a middle way.

At the end of June, Whitmer extended her initial moratorium through July 16 to give state workers time to set up an Eviction Diversion Program using $60 million from the state’s Coronvirus Relief Funds that were part of the CARES Act passed in Congress at the end of March.

The program pays grants to landlords of up to 90% of a tenant’s back rent if they forgive the remaining 10% and any late fees. In some cases, tenants with income higher than the area’s median who don’t qualify for full assistance are put in repayment plans the state negotiates with landlords, according to program details.

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