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City of Huntsville offers COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance

Published on March 15, 2021

Covid-19 emergency relief graphic

The City of Huntsville is pleased to offer emergency rental assistance to citizens financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury, has provided $25 billion to state and local governments to assist households suffering hardships related to COVID-19.

The U.S. Treasury awarded more than $6 million in grant funds to Huntsville to help qualified tenants pay current, past due and up to three months of future rent, utilities and home energy costs.

The goal of the program is to prevent housing instability, avoid evictions and offer financial relief to at-risk tenants and landlords.

“Huntsville has weathered the storm of the past year well, but many people are still struggling to get back on their feet,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “We encourage anyone who is behind on or unable to make payments to apply to this program as soon as possible.”

Who qualifies?

To qualify for the program, households must have an income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). One or more household members must also have qualified for unemployment benefits or can attest in writing they had a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Households must also demonstrate they are at risk of homelessness or housing instability or live in unsafe or unhealthy housing conditions to qualify. The program is only open to those whose rental property is their primary residence in Huntsville.

Designated community partners will review and commit funds to applicants who meet one of the priority groups below:

  • Have incomes at or below 50% AMI
  • Households where one or more household members are unemployed as of the date applied for assistance and one or more household members (this can be the same household member) were unemployed for 90 days prior to the date you apply for assistance
  • Applicant is in the eviction process

How to apply

Huntsville’s online application portal opened to the public today, March 15, on the City’s website. Prospective applicants without internet access may dial 2-1-1 to speak with a trained operator.

“We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic,” said City of Huntsville Community Development Manager Scott Erwin. “This program will have a significant financial impact on many residents within our community, particularly those who already had low-to-moderate income before losing their jobs or having their hours reduced because of COVID-19. This will help level the playing field and give those who are so far behind a chance to catch up.”

Both tenants and landlords may apply, but the same documentation proving COVID-19 related hardship suffered by the tenant will be required. Unpaid rent or utility bills cannot precede March 13, 2020.

For more information, visit the City of Huntsville’s website or email covidhelp@huntsvilleal.gov for assistance.