HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The City of Huntsville is partnering with the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) to offer $4.5 million in emergency rental assistance (ERA) to the Rocket City’s residents.

This assistance was designed to provide help with rent and utilities to lower-income residents who experienced hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic. ERA is funded through the U.S. Treasury Department.

Alabama’s part of the program focuses on renters in the state’s rural counties.

“Areas with higher populations generally have more households who rent,” said AHFA Multifamily Administrator David Young. “By working with the City of Huntsville to transfer funds from the ERA’s primarily rural program to a local, urban program with unanticipated demand, we are ensuring that Alabama keeps its federal funds in state.”

The assistance also helps with Huntsville Housing Helps, a new program administered by the Catholic Center of Concern and funded by the city.

To be eligible, residents must live in Huntsville’s city limits and have a household income that isn’t more than 50 percent of the city’s area median income.

To learn more about the program or to apply for assistance, visit huntsvillehousinghelps.com or call 256-427-4584.