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Limited Public Transportation

Due to the limited accessibility of public transportation in Oakland County, owning a vehicle is a necessity. For many of Hospitality House's clients, reliable transportation represents the only real opportunity for reasonable access to a job, education and other necessities such as health care.

Cost of Owning a Vehicle

For an average vehicle that's driven 15,000 miles a year, costs of ownership (including fuel, maintenance, insurance premiums and taxes, license and registration fees), added up to $8,698 a year, according to AAA's 2015 Your Driving Costs study. That is approximately $725 a month, a significant expense for a family that is living at or below 200% of the federal poverty income guideline.

The Gap is Significant

In the household survival budget for a family of four, transportation accounts for 16 percent of the family budget. Yet for many ALICE households, 16 percent of what they actually earn is not enough to afford even the running costs of a car. While Michigan’s public transportation systems are state-funded, there is no government spending on transportation targeted specifically to ALICE and poverty-level families. However, nonprofits provide some programs, spending an estimated $76 million. Yet, when income and nonprofit assistance are combined, there is a 51 percent gap in resources for all households to meet the basic ALICE threshold for transportation.

Adult Automobile Body 422197 (1)

The goal of Hospitality House's Pit Stop Program
is to ease some of the financial burden of owning a vehicle

Scope of Program

HHFP will authorize vehicle repairs for eligible clients for a vehicle that is the primary means of transportation, even if public transit is available. The total program cost of repairs may not exceed $500 including any repairs done in the previous 12 months.

Prior approval is required for this service. Before authorizing a major repair, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Residency must be in either the city of Walled Lake, Wixom, or Novi
  2. An eligible client owns the vehicle.
  3. The client requesting the service has a valid driver’s license.
  4. The repair is expected to make the vehicle safe and roadworthy including new tires, headlamps, batteries, etc.

Note:  If the client requesting the service does not have a valid driver’s license, but has someone else use their vehicle to drive them, document the name of the person driving the vehicle. Verify a valid driver’s license for the individual that will be operating the vehicle.

A lease vehicle may be repaired for a client when there is at least 12 months left in the lease agreement.

An estimate of the vehicle repair is required and must be placed in the case file.

Authorization for any vehicle purchased within the last 60 calendar days is prohibited.

Towing is not included in the $500 limit.

HHFP may authorize other funds directly needed to obtain, maintain, or enhance a person’s employment when funds are not available from other sources.

Examples include one-time work-related expenses such as:

  1. Payment for license fees (vehicle, trade certification).
  2. Vehicle inspection, sales tax on vehicle purchases, estimate or towing.
  3. License plates.
  4. Driver’s education, by policy exception only.
  5. Vehicle insurance. Limited to once in a client’s lifetime. This is limited to the vehicle insurance coverage for the time period in which the client is establishing income to allow for their ongoing payment of the insurance, up to three months maximum. If the client requires high risk vehicle insurance that is higher than $300 per month, limit the allowance for one month.