Rental/Mortgage Assistance

SMCAA Emergency Assistance

SMCAA offers many emergency services designed to help residents across Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties, including emergency housing assistance such as rent, mortgage, or property taxes. 

Eligibility differs based on programming. Apply today to see if you qualify for assistance.

COVID Aid, Relief, and Economic Security

In an effort to respond to the needs of Berrien, Cass and Van Buren County residents during and following the coronavirus pandemic, SMCAA has implemented services through the CARES Relief and Recovery Services, which comes from federal funding by the CARES Act. Specifically, CARES may provide rental assistance and help towards mortgage payments and property taxes.

Eligible clients are 200% of Poverty, must provide proof of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and receive benefits through MDHHS. 

Senior Man with Mask
Building Facade
COVID Emergency Rental Assistance

CERA can provide rental and utility assistance for eligible renter households so that they retain their housing stability. Low-income households who are experiencing a hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for rent assistance, utility assistance, and/or internet stipends. Renters with past-due rent and utility balance and those with subsidized housing can receive assistance if they meet the other eligibility requirements. ​Tenants OR landlords can apply on behalf of a household.


SMCAA is administering rental and utility assistance in Van Buren County and utility assistance in Berrien County. (Rental assistance in Berrien County is administered through Emergency Shelter Services. CERA in Cass County is administered through KeyStone.)

Emergency Food and Shelter Program

Households in need of eviction prevention may qualify for emergency assistance for both food and housing. EFSP supplements and expands ongoing work of local social service organizations, both nonprofit and governmental, to provide shelter, food, and supportive services to individuals, families, and households who have economic, non-disaster related emergencies.

Eligibility requirements are an individual or household facing eviction or foreclosure with a household income at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Level.

Moving Boxes