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As of: 6:51 AM, 10/17/21

One Time Assistance Programs

If you need immediate help to catch up with your utility bills, explore the programs below.

State Emergency Relief (SER)


State Emergency Relief (SER), is available year-round, to assist income qualified households with a heat or electric past due notice, shut-off notice, or need for deliverable fuel.

Use the green button to apply online.

If you need help with your application, call 2-1-1 to connect with an agency that can assist you.

ASSISTANCE FOR RENTERS (CERA)


COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) is a new program available to help tenants facing pandemic-related hardships avoid eviction. The program offers:
  • Up to 12 months of rental assistance, 3 months of which can be future payments
  • Assistance for past due and future electricity, heat, water, sewer, and trash costs
Funds are managed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s network of nonprofit agencies.
  • Landlords or tenants can apply directly online at Michigan.gov/cera
  • If you are unable to fill out your application online, call 2-1-1 to be connected with an agency that can assist you.

Who is Eligible?

CERA is for renter households that have incomes less than 80% of their county’s Area Median Income. Applicants must also meet the following conditions:
  • Individual(s) in the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or has experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the coronavirus.
  • Individual(s) in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability evidenced by a past due utility or rent notice.
To check eligibility and apply for assistance, visit  Michigan.gov/cera
Don’t wait! These funds will be available only for a limited time.
Household Size 
Maximum Total One Time Utility Payment
(Includes Future Payment)
Maximum Future Utility Payment as a Credit
1-2 persons
$1,500
$300
3-4 persons
$2,000
$500
5+ persons
$2,500
$500
Tenants up to 50% AMI are eligible for an additional $500 if needed to fully pay utility arrears.

Michigan 2-1-1 Program


Supported by the United Way, 2-1-1 is a free service linking people with information or agencies for help with energy assistance and other needs. Calls are confidential and answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you have questions about utility payment relief and assistance programs, call 2-1-1 or click the green button.

Home Heating Credit (HHC)


If your income is at or below 110% of the federal poverty level, you may apply for a Home Heating Credit for the 2020 tax year to help pay winter heating bills (includes rented apartments and mobile homes).

Even if your income does not require you to file taxes, you can still apply for this credit. In January 2021, you will find the Home Heating Credit Claim form (MI-1040CR-7) wherever other tax forms are provided.



Call 2-1-1 if you need assistance filling out the claim, to connect with a local certified tax professional - at little or no cost to you.