AHFA offers assistance to those struggling to pay rent and utilities

Emergency rental assistance applications are open

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Renters having trouble making payments on their rent and utilities are getting a lifeline.

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority is offering assistance for those who need it most.

The Emergency Rental Assistance program can help people bring their rental payments current, and also help with utility and home energy expenses.

The pandemic has been hard on Delta Rowland.

“I was cleaning houses for myself, but now since all of this…like…I literally only have one house…if any,” Rowland said.

Rowland is a mother of three and lost her husband two years ago.

Now the responsibility of taking care of them and herself falls entirely on her making it difficult to make ends meet.

“I get…you know…help with unemployment…and you know…the food stamps and all of the that…or you know just help from my family or people that are…you know…around try to help because of just knowing my situation,” Rowland said.

Rowland said her landlord has been working with her to keep her rent current, but paying her water and power bill has been a struggle.

She plans to apply for the ERA saying it would help her tremendously.

“To be eligible for the program, a renter household must be at or below 80% of the area median income for their respective county or city,” said Multi-Family Administrator for AHFA, David Young.

“The payment period goes back to March 13th of 2020. So, they’ll be able to apply for that entire period, bring themselves current …also bring themselves current with respect to the rental amounts owed, but also any past due utility payments,” Young explained.

$263 million is available to those who need it most.

The program started Monday morning at 8 a.m., and so far, 5,000 people have already applied.

For more information about the ERA program and how to apply, visit: www.eraalabama.com.

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