HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Many Huntsville residents are still struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic and some say the city of Huntsville is not following through with the promise of rental assistance.
Huntsville received $6 million from the U.S. Treasury to help locals cover past-due rent and utilities. Friday, people lined up in the heat for that help through Huntsville’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. But no city workers were there.
Anika Lewis is one of the people who waited for help.
“Today is July 22nd. No one showed up. We were also out there on July 2nd, and no one showed up,” she told News 19 after waiting in vain for city workers to show up at the service center.
Lewis and others received a flyer that advertised three dates, June 22, July 2 and July 22, where members of the community could stop by the service center at 212 Seminole Drive for rental assistance between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Lewis explained, “These flyers are going around. They’re out there. Again, on July 2nd it was 50 or so people that showed up. A couple of elderly people showed up, and no one showed up to even open the building.”
According to Lewis, the flyers were posted in several locations across the city sometime in June and the information has been distributed, as recently as last week, by caseworkers.
The city of Huntsville’s community development office says the Friday, July 22 date on the flyer is a typo. They said the event actually took place on Thursday, July 21.
However, the city did not provide a comment about the issues with the earlier program scheduled for July 2.
Lewis said she and many of the others for these programs just need a little extra help. They said the city is not providing them with the needed aid.
“A lot of people are trying, and it just discourages you,” Lewis said. “I’m trying to stay positive.”
Huntsville city officials said anyone who was unable to get assistance on Friday is encouraged to call the city’s community development office at 256-427-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.