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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Many households are struggling to pay the rent and keep the lights on. But there is help in the form of federal funding provided by the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Manager of Community Development Scott Irwin brought up funds given to the City of Huntsville by the federal government to help with COVID-19 relief and response during the weekly briefing on Wednesday.

The U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides funding for rental and utility assistance to households that have been affected by the pandemic. The City of Huntsville received approximately $6.7 million in ERAP funds in January.

Since the ERAP funds began to be distributed in March, the city has given out just over $4.1 million, or 68%, of the funds to serve about 630 households in the community.

Irwin says that the city has met a threshold required by the Treasury Department that allowed them to apply for supplemental funds. The U.S Treasury granted the City of Huntsville an additional $4.7 million for the program.

The combined ERAP programs in Huntsville will be able to give out a total of $10.7 million in funds to families that need assistance.

Click here to apply for ERAP funds in Huntsville

Those funds can be used for financial assistance by tenants, landlords, and utility companies to cover past-due rent and utility payments. The program’s goal is to prevent housing instability and eviction.