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Housing Voucher Waitlist Could Shrink with New Federal Dollars for Northern Michigan

Low-income residents in Michigan could be moving up on the wait-list for housing, and getting more help with rent payments.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority, or MSHDA, is announcing that they are re-opening the applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Lisa Kemmis is MSHDA’s Director of Rental Assistance and Homeless Solutions. “In 61 counties were opening the housing choice voucher waiting list,” she says.


It’s a federally funded rental assistance program that helps low-income residents with rent payments. Kemmis says they’re getting nearly an 11% increase in federal funding to help with the program. That allows them to move people through the wait list more quickly – and accept more applications.

“Not only are we able to continue to provide rental assistance to the over 28,000 families we have on the program, thus far, but we have the ability to add more families in 2023. So we’re very excited about that,” she says.

“When HUD notified all public housing authorities early in the year, basically get ready because the funding is coming,” Kemmis says. “We instructed our contractors to start pulling from all our waiting lists because we really needed to get more vouchers out on the street, (to) families searching for housing to account for this additional funding that’s coming our way.”

Applications will be entered on the waiting list in the order they are received. “The waiting list will be open for two weeks. So folks have the opportunity to submit their application during that two week time frame.”


Kemmis is well-aware of the housing shortage in Northern Michigan, and says the voucher program undoubtedly competes with other renters. But they’re making an effort to work with landlords to make it more attractive.

“We’re competing with them, with the with the market rate renters, you know, for our available units. But we’ve also made some changes in our program and increasing our payment standards are our allowable rents and requesting HUD to allow us to set them higher than what they generally, just to provide our families with some more.”

To see what counties are eligible, click here.

For application details, click here.

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