Eviction Prevention Program


We work with community partners to prevent evictions. When residents lose their homes, no one wins. Evictions often result in losses for both owners and renters. This 61st District Court program changes that and provides a win-win solution.

The Program’s Three Main Goals

  1. Reduce the number of evictions
  2. Prevent the cascading negative effects of eviction
  3. Improve housing stability

How It Works

  • A dedicated Kent County Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) caseworker helps eligible tenants access State Emergency Relief (SER) funds and other funds to pay back rent
  • The property owner and tenant sign an agreement, called a “stipulation”
  • If the tenant can access SER or other funds, DHHS uses those funds to pay the landlord the back rent
  • The tenant stays in their home, and because the “stipulation” was fulfilled, the tenant’s credit rating isn’t affected

Program Reports

Evictions can negatively impact long-term housing and family stability. Preventing evictions keeps individuals and families in homes they can afford. Preventing evictions also saves the community money because it costs less than providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, or re-housing services.

The Eviction Prevention Program formed in response to the Great Housing Strategies recommendation to create a pilot program in the 61st District Court.  This grant-funded program will enable us to collect data about eviction and its impact on our community.

Interested in other steps we're taking to make housing affordable? Check out the Housing NOW! program.

The Eviction Prevention Program was made possible thanks to $300,000 in grants that will be provided to the City over three years.

  • $150,000 from the Steelcase Foundation
  • $150,000 from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation

These funds allow our program partners to have dedicated staff to provide pre-court and on-site help to access State Emergency Relief funds.

The Salvation Army (TSA) reaches out to tenants who have received a court summons, conducts initial screening for eligibility and helps tenants fill out the State Emergency Relief fund application.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reviews applications and works to help solve problems that may be preventing the tenant from being eligible.

The 61st District Court encourages landlords to participate in the program and tenants to seek assistance from TSA and DHHS prior to coming to court.