HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey has given the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) the go-ahead to administer the State’s new COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.
Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Alabama will be funded entirely by a congressional grant of $263 million through The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
AHFA is in the process of developing a program that will allow them to process online applications from across the state, by both renters and landlords. Their goal is to start accepting applications for ERA Alabama starting March 1st at 8 am.
In order to receive financial assistance through ERA Alabama, tenants need to meet all of the following requirements:
- 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, having to stay home with children due to closure of daycare/school, etc.
- Provide proof of income (pay stubs, bank statements, a letter from employer, pension)
- Provide proof of valid lease or other written documentation of a landlord-tenant relationship
Those who apply may have assistance for up to 15 months, ERA Alabama won’t set aside future rent for more than a 3-month period of time. So, every 3 months people must reapply and they will be helped if funds are still available.
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.
While the application is not yet available, additional information can be found on the AHFA website and customer service representatives are available at 833-620-2434.