Emergency Rental Assistance program available in Alabama starting in March

Rental assistance is now available for Jefferson Co. residents concerned about evictions.
Rental assistance is now available for Jefferson Co. residents concerned about evictions.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 4:44 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - More people across Alabama, hurt by the pandemic, can soon get help with paying their rent.

Governor Kay Ivey authorized the Alabama Housing Finance Authority Friday to implement the State’s new COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.

That means some people in need can get help from the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Alabama program.

AHFA expects to accept applications from landlords and tenants for ERA Alabama beginning March 1 at 8 a.m.

Questions should be presented to the ERA Alabama program customer service center at (833) 620-2434. The ERA Alabama website, www.ahfa.com/era will be updated with new developments.

Separate from ERA Alabama, the Act also funds separate rental assistance programs serving residents of Baldwin, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Jefferson Counties, and the cities of Huntsville and Birmingham.

Click here for more information on applications.

Renter households in those jurisdictions should apply to those local programs first.

In order to receive financial assistance through ERA, tenants must meet all of the following:

• Have a valid rental agreement in their name

• Household’s total gross income cannot exceed 80% Area Median Income for location

• The household has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19, for example:

  • Being laid off
  • Place of employment has closed
  • Reduction in hours of work
  • Loss of spousal/child support
  • Inability to find work due to COVID-19
  • Having to stay home with children due to closure of day care/school
  • Unable to participate in previous employment due to the workplace’s high risk of severe illness from COVID-19

ERA Alabama can help renters with the following costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020:

• Past due, current and up to 3 months of expected rent costs

• Past due, current or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses

• After the initial 3 months of forward assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available

Applicants must reapply every three months and will only be assisted if funds are still available.

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