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City of East Lansing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program

COVID-19 Emergency Rental, Mortgage & Utilities Assistance Program

The City of East Lansing has allocated CDBG-CV funds to provide emergency support to income eligible East Lansing residents to the issuance of rent, mortgage and utility payments to persons experiencing financial hardships as a direct result of COVID-19.  Applicants can receive up to $7,000 in total grant assistance for rent or mortgage arrearages over a period of up to six consecutive months max and up to $3,000 or six months of past due utility assistance. The program is being administered by Capital Area Housing Partnership. 

Interested applicants must contact Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP) at

517-332-4663, via email at or

online at


Emergency Rental & Mortgage Assistance Application

Click on the PDF link below to access the application.






Emergency Rent, Mortgage & Utility Assistance

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the CDBG-CV Emergency Rental, Mortgage and Utility Relief Grant Program?


A. The program provides emergency assistance to eligible households who are in danger of becoming homeless.


2. How do I apply for the grant program?


A: Interested applicants must complete the grant program application. You can contact Capital Area Housing Partnership (CAHP) at 517- 332-4663 or via email at to get an application. Applications may also be downloaded from the CAHP website at:


3. How am I eligible to apply?


A: There are various eligibility criteria for this program. Applicants must:

  1. qualify at or below 80% of area median income

  2. provide documentation of a hardship and show recovery from the hardship, future financial management. Examples of hardship are: loss of job, decrease in hours at work, unexpected medical bill or car repair. Examples of future financial management are: new job, second job, substantial increase in hours at work

  3. provide a copy of the current lease and delinquency a letter from landlord, past due bill notice from mortgage servicer, and/or past due utility bill

  4. live within the City of East Lansing (see map on page 4)


4. How much assistance is available for my family?


A: The program may pay up to six-months or $7,000.00 of past-due rent or mortgage payments, whichever comes first, and six-months or $3,000.00 of past-due utility payments, whichever comes first.


5. I am behind on my payments for more than six months’ rent, can you still help?


A: Additional referrals may be made to assist with outstanding arrearage amounts.


6. Do I have to pay the money back?


A: No. The assistance is a grant and there are no recapture terms.


7. Do I need to have employment?


A: You are required to provide proof of income for all adults in the household, 18 years of age or older, who are working. Any adult not working will be required to complete a Zero Income Affidavit.


9. I cannot afford a rental unit on my own anymore, can I find a roommate to move in with me to share the expenses?


A: Yes, the roommate must meet all eligibility criteria. This could qualify as future financial management, depending on total income and expenses for the combined household. You must obtain approval from your landlord to add members to the household.


10. How long is the process?


A: It depends on the applicant. The process will average 7-14 business days from the intake application being submitted and approved. Various factors determine process time.


11. Do you have preferences for families with children or the elderly?


A: No, we treat all families the same. There are no preferences for children or the elderly.


12. Can you pay for a room or hotel?


A: No, you must be leasing a complete rental unit or own a home.


13. Are the checks made payable to me or my landlord, mortgage servicer and/or utility provider?


A: Yes. Payments are made by CAHP to the landlord, mortgage servicer and/or utility provider directly.


14. How far back can I request assistance?


A: March 1, 2020

15. Are college students eligible to apply?


A: Yes. However, if you are still claimed as a dependent by your parent(s) or guardian(s), then you are not eligible per HUD guidelines. Assistance for students who are still claimed as a dependent may be available through other agencies.


16. Is there assistance and/or translation services available to help complete the application?


A: Yes. Call or e-mail Capital Area Housing Partnership for additional help.


17. Are subsidized housing rentals eligible?


A:  No.


18. Do you accept Land Contracts?


A:  Yes, they will be treated as a mortgage. The Land Contract MUST be registered with the county Register of Deeds office.


19. What utilities are covered?


A:  Gas, water and electric direct service utilities are covered. Sewer is not covered.

20. Can you cover utilities without receiving mortgage or rental assistance?

A: Yes.

Emergency Rent, Mortgage & Utility Assistance

Frequently Asked Questions & Map

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