Dear Neighbor,

Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including updates and news from your state government.

MDHHS Releases New Back to School Guidelines

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently updated back-to-school guidance, which included the following recommendations (not mandates) for K-12 schools:

  • Universal masking in K-12 school buildings.
  • Vaccines for all eligible students and staff.
  • Three feet of social distancing between students while in the classroom.
  • Improved ventilation.
  • Handwashing.
  • Staying home when sick.
  • Getting tested when exhibiting symptoms or after exposure to COVID-19.

Decisions regarding COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year are left up to local school districts.

CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new 60-day moratorium on evictions. This applies to counties that have high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates ⁠— as of Aug. 1, this includes 80% of Michigan counties. The new eviction moratorium will expire Oct. 3. Tenants who are concerned about eviction should take advantage of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance. To find out more about this program, visit

Additional Food Assistance Benefits

Starting this week, Michigan families who are currently eligible for food assistance benefits will receive an additional monthly payment. This will affect close to 700,000 Michigan households. Eligible families will see at least an additional $95 per month (per household) on their Bridge Card. There is no need to re-apply. More information can be found here.

Ingham County Provides Mortgage and Utility Payment Assistance Grants

The Capital Area Housing Partnership is issuing grants to help Ingham County residents pay their mortgage and utilities. Grant recipients can receive 12 months of past due utility bills and mortgage payments. To qualify, a household must be at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. Eligible households must have experienced a temporary job loss, reduced work hours or other hardship caused by the pandemic. This Ingham County program is funded by money distributed through the American Rescue Plan. Find out more information and apply here.

Ingham County Representatives Meet With Local Superintendents

Last week, I joined my colleagues state Reps. Julie Brixie and Sarah Anthony for an informal discussion with local district superintendents serving the Ingham Intermediate School District. The superintendents shared their concerns about the upcoming school year and their insights about how to make public education work better.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or by email at if we can help.


Kara Hope

State Representative

House District 67