Week 5: The Impending Rent Crisis – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 5: The Impending Rent Crisis


Covid-19 has wrought havoc in nearly every aspect of life in the U.S. and across the world, and home rental is no different. Given the widespread unemployment, it was predictable that many people would struggle to afford their rent. Thankfully, Governor Whitmer among other political leaders have sought to mitigate the damages by enacting government rental aid programs. First the eviction ban allowed renters to stay in their homes, but it didn’t provide any assistance for landlords who relied on rent for their livelihoods. The governor has extended the eviction ban until July 15 and has announced a new Eviction Diversion Program to help struggling renters to afford their bills. She is dedicating $50 million of federal coronavirus relief funds to this program, and it is slated to start on July 16.

This kind of support for renters, which make up approximately one third of Americans, is essential but it may not be enough. The eviction ban did not do anything about rent payments, which have continued to pile up over the last several months. This issue also disproportionately affects people of color, as Black families are twice as likely to face eviction as white counterparts. The goal of this program is to help thousands of people to keep their homes and to avoid turning our current public health crisis into homelessness crisis. The problem is we still might see that happen. This step taken by Governor Whitmer is at least slightly reassuring, but I worry that it may not be enough.

3 thoughts on “Week 5: The Impending Rent Crisis”

  1. With evictions already being an issue for many Detroit residents even without a global health crisis, you’re probably right that Governor Whitmer’s efforts will not be enough to help many residents keep their homes. I wonder what steps the city of Detroit could/will take in order to help these families.

  2. I think the program on the surface does seem like a great idea to help people but I agree with you that it may not be enough. It should not have taken a pandemic to issue a program to assist people with rent and evictions.

  3. I agree with you that this program is a good start, but that we need to be doing more to assist people who rent. Where my site is located, in Highland Park, half of the population are renters and should not have to worry about eviction.

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