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Early data show Muskegon evictions may have fallen - for now

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In August of 2019, Muskegon’s district court saw 506 landlord-tenant eviction cases filed.

This August only 58 cases have been filed. Of those cases, only 20 ended with an eviction writ being issued.

According to national data compiled by Evictionlab in 2016 Muskegon county had the highest rate of evictions in Michigan.

Judge Ladas Hoopes said it’s a sign that so far Michigan’s eviction diversion program is working.

“I think Michigan has done an excellent job in figuring out what to do with the eviction moratorium cases,” she said.

The state’s diversion program is putting $50-million towards paying back rent and keeping tenants in their homes.

The program requires landlords to accept just 90% of the rent owed. In exchange, the state will pay up to $3,500 of back rent for a tenant.

Hoopes said Muskegon county has not yet gotten through the roughly $1-million set aside by the state for eviction diversion.

“We are getting the sense that the money is being utilized and that court cases are settling but the day will come,” she said. “We’re not nearly through our moratorium cases.”

A state official said statewide data on the program will be made available within the next two weeks.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Poverty Law Program said without further assistance from the state or federal government the program is “at best a temporary reprieve.”

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