COVID-19 Policy Responses
CEDAM is working with national, state, and local partners to advance timely, effective policies that support the health and well-being of Michiganders during the COVID-19 crisis. We are examining our policy priorities and tailoring them accordingly to ensure that we meet our continued commitment to support and advocate for our members.
CEDAM has written or signed on to the following federal advocacy letters:
- CEDAM letter to Michigan Congress members: Include housing resources in next stimulus package
- Coalition letter on financial services: Stimulus recommendations
- Comment letter on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule
CEDAM has written or signed on to the following state advocacy letters:
- Letter to Governor Whitmer: Protecting stimulus checks from garnishment
- Letter to Governor Whitmer: Homelessness resources and support
- Letter to state leaders: Allocating CDBG funds for rental assistance programs
Immediately, CEDAM is focusing on:
- Making best use of the influx of federal CARES Act money that will be coming to Michigan. We strongly recommend maximizing flexibility, expediency, and getting money down to the community level.
- Advocating on future stimulus packages to ask for continued investment in Michigan’s low income communities.
- Helping people access their stimulus check payments. CEDAM is concerned about the potentially hundreds of thousands of Michigan households who are unbanked and/or do not have to file a federal tax return. These are the people most in need of this economic support, and the ones most likely to miss out. The stimulus payments will also be an area ripe for scammers and predatory lenders to abuse.
- Insulating people from foreclosure and eviction. While the federal CARES does prevent both evictions and foreclosures in the short-term for federally-backed mortgages, there is a significant percent of residences who are not covered by these protections. CEDAM is especially concerned about renters, who were already cost-burdened prior to the pandemic, and in many cases are not living in a property that is protected by any CARES Act provisions. While Governor Whitmer’s eviction moratorium will protect them for now, it needs to be extended beyond April 17 and more unified, statewide coverage is needed.
- Investing in homeless shelters and supportive housing and ensuring their residents and workers have the resources they need to remain safe. See the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness’ recommendations for more details.
- Advocating that MSHDA make a formal announcement on the QAP revision decision.
Long-term areas of focus include:
- Investing in mechanisms to meet the state’s affordable housing needs. We are one of only seven states that does not put state resources into a state housing trust fund. The existing Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund (MHCDF) is flexible and versatile, and money invested in the fund will help increase affordable housing options in the state.
- Strengthening volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites and increasing access to banking to make sure financially vulnerable families get the tax credits (and stimulus) they need.
- Investing in a stronger broadband network to increase access for rural and urban households that do not have regular internet access.
- Connecting residents to safe, affordable financial products and services and protecting consumers in the financial marketplace.