As we approach the summer months, I wanted to take a moment to provide you with some important information. Please feel free to share these resources with your family, friends and neighbors.
Feel free to reach out to my office by calling (517) 373-1054 or emailing TenishaYancey@house.mi.gov if you would like to offer your input or if you are ever in need of assistance. I look forward to continuing to work with you in my efforts to serve our community in Lansing.
1st House District
New Federal Programs to Expand Internet Access for Michiganders
We know that many families here in Michigan still do not have access to reliable, high-speed internet. This makes learning and working in the 21st century increasingly difficult. As we have all had to rely on virtual tools to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to bridge the digital divide and equip Michiganders with the tools they need to succeed. These exciting federal programs will be instrumental in expanding access to crucial broadband services.
Emergency Broadband Benefit
This program will provide a discount of up to $50 per month off a qualifying household’s internet bill (and up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands). In addition, some internet service providers are also providing discounts on the purchase of internet-capable devices, like laptop computers.
More than one million Americans enrolled in this program during its first week. Some of the most common ways that families qualify are:
Visit www.GetEmergencyBroadband.org to learn more and enroll; call (833) 511-0311 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week or sign up directly with your internet service provider.
Broadband Infrastructure Grants Available through NTIA
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released the rules for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant program created under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. This program will provide a total of $288 million in grants to public-private partnerships established to expand broadband service.
Emergency Connectivity Fund Grants Soon to Be Available through FCC
The Federal Communications Commission has released a Report and Order providing details about the Emergency Connectivity Fund created under the American Rescue Plan, which will provide $7.1 billion in grants that can support schools and libraries in providing connectivity to students, school staff, and library patrons who would otherwise lack access to connected devices and high-speed internet service sufficient for remote learning.
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) is a federally funded program available through MSHDA to help Michigan tenants facing pandemic-related hardships avoid eviction while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent. The program can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households to retain their housing stability. The CERA program is an important resource for those who have experienced financial hardships due to the pandemic and provides peace of mind to renters by ensuring they can stay in their homes.
MSHDA is currently administering the CERA Program through its statewide network of local nonprofit housing resource agencies.
MSHDA estimates that 50,000 to 55,000 families will be able to receive financial assistance through CERA. For more info on who is eligible, check out the FAQ page here.
How to apply?
MSHDA has an online application portal for application intake. This is the best way to apply for those that have a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Tenants and landlords can also apply through their local service agency. Please see the CERA Contact List for the service agency in our county.