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    Wayne County has new rent aid program for tenants, refugees

    Wayne County officials and partners on Tuesday unveiled a new $20 million rental assistance program that is expected to help tenants outside Detroit pay off months of back rent and utilities, and assist Afghan refugees secure housing. 

    The county expects to launch the program on Monday. A portion of the $20 million will help refugees resettle through the nonprofit Samaritas.

    “The amount of unpaid rent is astronomical — people being behind in utility bills, people being behind in a number of things related to just living,” Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said during a news conference at the Mackinac Policy Conference. 

    He pointed to the lifting of a federal eviction moratorium last month that had been in place to keep people housed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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