Economic Justice

Biden extends freeze on student loan payments to Jan. 31

BY: - August 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced Friday afternoon that it is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments until January of next year, as the delta variant of the coronavirus surges across the country. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: We’ve made strides in school funding, but more must be done

BY: - August 4, 2021

A few weeks ago, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan School Aid budget bill, the largest in history, that takes important steps toward fully funding our pre-K-12 public schools. As I remarked at the governor’s press conference, this is what happens when Democrats and Republicans come together in support of our children. As it stands, […]

Feds order new eviction ban in counties with highest COVID-19 infection rates

BY: and - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials on Tuesday announced a new, narrower moratorium on evictions through Oct. 3, which would protect struggling renters in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hardest by soaring COVID-19 infection rates. The targeted eviction ban comes days after a federal moratorium in place since September expired on Saturday. The Biden administration […]

Study: Utility shutoffs help drive evictions in Michigan

BY: - August 3, 2021

Updated, 3:31 p.m., 8/3/21 As a national moratorium expired Saturday that will likely trigger a massive wave of evictions, a new report shows that utility shutoffs are a big reason renters in Michigan face evictions and subsequent homelessness. The Lansing-based Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) study outlines policy recommendations for how lawmakers should deal […]

Biden urges state and local leaders to postpone evictions while rental aid is distributed

BY: - August 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday called on state and local governments to put their own pause on evictions for at least two months, and urged them to use $46.5 billion provided by the coronavirus relief package for tenants and landlords. But the White House said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Congress must help families by making EITC and Child Tax Credit boosts permanent

BY: - August 1, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Joe Biden on March 11, provided the nation with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make historic and bold investments in our people.  These investments include temporary expansions of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) — by expanding it for workers without qualifying children —and the Child Tax […]

Federal eviction ban to expire Saturday after attempt to extend it fails

BY: - July 30, 2021

7:33 p.m., 7/30/21: This story has been updated after the extension failed WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unsuccessfully scrambled on Friday to extend federal legal protections against eviction that will expire on Saturday. The end of the eviction moratorium jeopardizes housing security for millions of Americans who are struggling both to pay their rent and to access billions […]

Study: SNAP benefits don’t come close to covering the cost of a meal in Leelanau County

BY: - July 28, 2021

Leelanau County in northern Michigan has the largest gap nationwide between maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and the average cost of a meal, according to a recent study.  Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based social and economic policy research nonprofit, found that in 2020, the average meal in Leelanau County, which is estimated to […]

Whitmer announces affordable housing plan assisting 6K Michiganders

BY: - July 28, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans in Detroit on Tuesday to make a significant investment in affordable housing that addresses the health, safety and well-being of Michigan residents. The proposal would assist 6,000 Michiganders, produce 2,000 rental housing units, and leverage an additional $380 million in private funding, while creating 1,600 jobs.   “This new housing investment […]

‘There was no concern for my life’: Families losing homes despite federal eviction moratorium

BY: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The national moratorium on evictions, as well as rental assistance programs, weren’t enough protection to keep Katrina Chism and her family in their suburban Atlanta home when money got tight. Chism was laid off twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and when she fell behind on rent, she faced an initial eviction notice. She was […]

More than 1.25M Michiganders approved to receive emergency food assistance in July

BY: - July 23, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Thursday that Michigan families who are eligible for food assistance benefits will receive an additional monthly payment in July. More than 1.25 million people in close to 700,000 Michigan households will benefit under approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food […]

States still lag in getting assistance to struggling renters, federal data shows

BY: - July 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — State and local officials disbursed $1.5 billion in rental assistance during June — more than during the entire previous five months — to help households falling behind on rent and utilities, according to U.S. Treasury data released Wednesday. That progress in getting slow-moving federal dollars to struggling renters comes as the Biden administration […]