City of East Lansing Launches Emergency Rental & Mortgage Assistance Program

From Amy Schlusler-Schmitt, Community Developer & Engagement Manager with the City of East Lansing Planning Department.

In an effort to provide emergency support to income-eligible East Lansing residents experiencing financial hardships as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of East Lansing has launched an Emergency Rental & Mortgage Assistance Program.

Applicants meeting income eligibility requirements can apply to receive up to $2,000 in grant assistance towards outstanding rent or mortgage payments from as early as March 2020. Residents must reside within the City of East Lansing’s limits and must provide documentation of a COVID-19-related hardship, such as loss of a job, a decrease in hours worked or an unexpected medical bill.

Funding for this program was provided by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). As a Community Development Block Grant entitlement community, the City of East Lansing received funds from HUD to assist in the preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize the financial hardships our residents are facing during this pandemic,” said Community Development & Engagement Manager Amy Schlusler-Schmitt. “We feel fortunate to be able to provide some financial support during these unprecedented times.”

Applicants will work directly with non-profit housing agency Capital Area Housing Partnership, opens a new window to apply for and receive the funds. Application materials and program guidelines are available at online., opens a new window Residents with questions can contact the CAHP office at (517) 332-4663 or, opens a new window for more information. Applicants will be served on a first come, first serve basis. Funding is currently in place to allow for up to 100 households to receive grant funds.

“We understand that each person’s story is unique, and it is okay to ask for help,” said Rawley Van Fossen, Executive Director of Capital Area Housing Partnership. “Our housing counselors are equipped to assist East Lansing residents through financial hardships brought on by the pandemic so they can sustain their homes.”