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Issue Alert - 07-04-04

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Date:

Apr 01, 2007

Program Area:

Family Independence Program (FIP), State Disability Assistance (SDA) and Refugee Assistance Program (RAP).

Issue Summary:

DHS will not authorized rent to be vendored for FIP, SDA or RAP recipients if the landlord is delinquent on property taxes.

Persons Affected:

FIP, SDA and RAP recipients who have their rent vendored to their landlord

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail: info@ccj-mi.org

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000 (734) 998-6100 (734) 998-9125 Fax


Background

FIP recipients can have their FIP payments sent directly to (or vendored to) their landlord for rent or utility companies for payment.  FIP recipients can voluntarily sign up for vendoring by completing DHS form 560.  The minimum vendored payment amount is $2.00.

 

Per Program Administrative Manual (PAM) 425, DHS will not authorized vendored payments to a landlord for a dwelling  that  is:

 

1)    not up to building codes, or the landlord refuses to cooperate in getting up to code,

2)    the landlord refuses to make DHS recommended energy saving improvements to the dwelling

3)    title to the dwelling has reverted to the state because of non-payment of property taxes.

 

You can access DHS form 560 and the PAMs by going to the DHS manual website and clicking on the Reference forms and publications link. 

What's Happening?

DHS will no longer approve vendored payments for landlords who are delinquent in paying their property taxes. 

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should make clients aware of the changes. 

 

What Should Clients Do?

If clients choose to vendor their FIP payments (either all or part) to their landlord for rental payments, they should be aware of the restrictions on vendored payments.  Clients should also see their local legal services office to assist them in getting the landlord to make property tax payments.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at MichiganLegalAid.org. You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.