MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Emergency rental assistance has kept many Alabamians from facing eviction, but as we move further away from the peak of the pandemic, fewer resources are available to help renters out.
For those living in North Alabama, the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama offer limited aid, but the programs are failing some who live in Madison County.
For one Madison County resident, her financial difficulties started with a necessary medical leave from work. She said she was unable to return to her job and her finances have suffered as a result.
“I had been doing everything I could, using my savings and things I have put aside in case there’s ever a situation,” said a Madison County resident. “But I got to a place where that also was at its end.”
She said she needed help, and when she went looking for aid, internet searches led to the Madison County Rental Assistance Program. This program distributed the last of its funds in November of last year, but if you search for it online, the program may still appear to be active on second-party sites like findhelp.org.
“It got to a place where the ends stopped meeting, and so you go and you ask for help,” she said. “You’re looking for alternatives, but the options are very few.”
The only other local program available is through the city of Huntsville, but you are only eligible if you live within city limits. Because both the city of Huntsville and Madison County at one time offered local rental assistance, the state will not provide rental aid to anyone living in these areas. If you live in Madison County but outside of Huntsville city limits, you are not eligible for any kind of financial rental assistance.
Moreover, the Madison County resident said the information about these resources is difficult to find.
“There was no communication at any level of what the process is like or who you can turn to if certain things don’t happen, so if you don’t hear back, how long does it take and what time frame should you initiate some level of action,” she said.
She said, after reaching out for more information about these programs, she had to wait for days and call several times for answers.