Oakland County Michigan: Rent, Mortgage & Utility Relief

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

Application Process

Please refer to the Qualifications Overview and the Applicant Document Checklist for information on how to prepare your application. These are guidelines that will help you. The FAQs are also helpful to get answers for any questions that may arise as you go through the application process. The processing of your application may be delayed if you don’t have the required documentation. This delay may take between 45-60 days on average.

Qualifications Overview

  • You must be a resident of Oakland County.
  • Must have a household income that is less than 80% of area median income as defined by HUD
  • From March 10, 2020 or later, COVID-19-related hardships such as inability pay due to temporary unemployment, reduced work hours, or other income issues
  • The household has not received any assistance from another source for the same activity and time period requested by this program.
  • Participation in the program requires agreement from your landlord, property manager, or mortgage company (no payments will directly be made to applicants)
  • The program awards a one-time grant for qualified households, and it covers the following areas:
    • Rent payment (includes mobile home lot rent, land contract payments, late fees, court expenses)
    • Association fees and/or mortgage payment
    • Utility payments (gas, electric, water, and sewer)
  • The maximum household liquid assets (e.g. savings, checking, cash, etc.) is $15,000
  • Households must be able to afford future housing payments, which does not exceed 50% of household gross income (with a few exceptions)

Are you interested in more Free Money Grants and Government Grants for Individuals?

Applicant Document Checklist

All information will be treated confidentially, and used only to determine eligibility. The complete application must include scanned copies of the following (preferably PDF). The paper copies of the application are also available, and will need a clear photocopy of the following.

Applications must include uploads or copies of all pages of your bank statements, mortgage paperwork, lease agreements, bills, etc. It is forbidden to redact or “black out” any information from the required documentation.

Once all documents are received, the reviewing of your application may begin.

Did you read about the Clark County CARES Housing Assistance Program?

  • State of Michigan Photo ID (must match address on lease/mortgage).
  • An Active Lease Agreement, which includes a month-to-month rental agreement if it is expired
    • NOTE: The lease must be complete, including a signature page.
  • Notice to Quit, or other documentation indicating the amount of rent owed
  • Latest mortgage statement
  • Latest recent utility bills
  • Latest Bank Statements
    • NOTE: All accounts for all household members should be included, for those 18 years old or older
  • Verification of all income sources. Examples include:
    • NOTE: Each member of the household, 18 years old or older, must have the following.
  • Pay Stubs (1 month)
  • Unemployment Award Letter
  • Social Security, Disability or Social Security Income Award Letter
  • Verification of Pension
  • Verification of Child Support/Alimony
  • Veterans’ Benefit
  • Worker’s Compensation Statement
  • Self-employment – Year to date Profit/Loss and last two years income tax

Household Income Eligibility

Person Per HouseholdMaximum Income Limits

Contact Information

Oakland County Neighborhood & Housing Development

250 Elizabeth Lake Road

Ste. 1900

Pontiac, MI 48341

Novi 52-1 District Court Office

48150 Grand River Avenue

Novi, MI 48374

South Oakland Health Center

27725 Greenfield Road

Southfield, MI 48076

Charter Township of Brandon Clerk’s Office

395 Mill Street 

Ortonville, MI 48462

North Oakland Health Center

1200 North Telegraph Road

Bldg. 34

Pontiac, MI 48341

Frequently Asked Questions

I have previously been granted assistance under this program. Do I still qualify for this assistance?

No, since the assistance payments are a one-time grant given by Oakland County on behalf of an eligible household. However, you may be eligible to apply for assistance through other programs or assistance available in your area.

I have been denied assistance under this program in the past. Can I reapply for this round?

Yes. You are allowed to reapply for assistance. Before applying again, however, please review the “Qualifications Overview.”

Do you accept paper applications? Where can I get one and submit the application?

Yes. You can also submit a paper application. They can be picked up or dropped off at any of five locations in the county between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. These locations are listed above.

You can also contact the office through sending an email at [email protected], or calling (248) 858-0730 to have the paper application mailed to you.

Don’t forget to check out our article about the City of Boston’s Rental Relief Fund.

I’m not able to scan documents. What are my options?

You can download a free scanner app from the app store if you don’t have a scanner but you own a smartphone. There are many free and simple versions, such as Adobe Scan, Genius Scan, Scanner App, etc. Before you submit your online application, it is recommended that you scan all documents. If you have to, you can also save your application and return to it anytime.

Paper applications and paper copies of your documents will be accepted if you don’t have a scanner or a smartphone.

I submitted my application; what’s next?

Each application, including all the needed documents, is carefully reviewed by the Housing Counseling team of the Oakland County Neighborhood & Housing Development Division. This is a detailed process that can take some time. On average, you will get an eligibility determination within 45 to 60 days.

What can I do to get assistance on past due property taxes?

​Nothing. For past due payment options, you can contact the local treasurer’s offices in your city or township. For property taxes past due for over a year, please contact the Oakland County Treasurer’s Office at (248) 858-0611 to get past due payment options.

Is child support considered income?

Yes. Child support counts as income for the household.

Is it really important if my State of Michigan ID/license doesn’t match my lease/mortgage address?

Yes. You can prove your current primary residence if you present your valid driver’s license or State of Michigan ID. The state requires residents to update their addresses within 30 days after moving.

Your State ID must match the address you input on your application. You can update your address online at https://dsvsesvc.sos.state.mi.us/TAP/_/#1, or you can make an appointment.

Is it possible to use this program as a secondary residence?

​This program only helps eligible applicants to avoid becoming homeless in their primary residence.

What is a Co-applicant vs a Co-borrower? Am I required to have a Co-applicant?

A co-applicant is someone who is part of the same lease agreement as the main applicant. And, no, you do not need to have a co-applicant in order to apply. If there is a co-applicant, however, they will need to complete and sign the application together with the applicant.

A co-borrower is a person who is listed on the mortgage alongside the borrower. And, no, you do not need to have a co-borrower in order to apply. If there is a co-borrower for your mortgage, however, they will need to complete the application and sign it with you.

Why are non-relatives required on this application?

​Federal guidelines require that all people (related or not) who live in the house must be included as part of the household on the application. This also includes all income earned from all persons who are part of the household.

What is the average time it takes to find out if I’m eligible?

The Housing Counseling team of the Oakland County Neighborhood & Housing Development Division carefully reviews all applications, including every document required from the applicant. This is a detailed process that can take some time. On average, you will get an eligibility determination in 45 to 60 days.

How long will it take for my bills to be paid if I get approved?

After all documentation (including information from landlord and mortgage companies) has been submitted, it will be reviewed. You will then receive an eligibility determination. Payment will be made to your creditors within 10 business days. However, this timing is an estimate. It actually depends on the documentation being completed.

Will I be notified when the payments are made if I’m approved?

​Yes. You will be notified via email when payments are made. Or, if you submitted a paper application, letters will also be sent. The County will pay the landlord/property management, mortgage company, and/or utility company directly on the applicant’s behalf. The applicant will not receive any payments.

My landlord won’t accept payment through this program. What are my other options?

The law does not require landlords to accept payments under this program. However, talk to your landlord, and discuss other options they will consider, or get assistance from an attorney/legal aid.

What is the purpose of proof of affordability (ability to continue future housing payments)?

Rent, mortgage, association fees, and other life-sustaining utilities like heat, electricity, and water may all be included in housing costs. According to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), households should not spend more than 30% of their gross household income on housing costs. Any amount exceeding 50% of the gross income is considered excessively costly, and it is a risk factor for homelessness. Our program is funded by HUD. Households must be able sustain future housing payments of 50% or less of their household gross income. If homeowners have delinquent mortgages, they may be eligible for assistance with a housing ratio of 50-75%. This is possible if they meet with a housing counselor who will explain the options, such as loan modifications. Contact our hotline at (248) 858-1891 for Housing Counseling. Referrals to other programs will also be made available to applicants who are very financially challenged.


Gross Income

Gross income is the total amount you receive before deductions are made from your paycheck. You will need to provide the gross income from all sources of income throughout this application.

Area Median Income (AMI)

The HUD determines the income of households, where half of all households in the region have a higher income, and the other half have a lower income.

Liquid Assets

For this application, liquid assets refers to assets like checking and savings accounts.