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City of Huntsville restarts COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Published on December 13, 2021

Covid-19 emergency relief graphic

The City of Huntsville is again offering emergency rental and utility assistance to qualified tenants financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase II of the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury, launched Dec. 13, 2021, to assist local households suffering hardships related to COVID-19.

Funds are available to help tenants pay current, past-due and up to three months of future rent, utility 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.

Community Development Manager Scott Erwin, whose department administers the funds, is excited to offer up to $4.7 million in emergency assistance to those in need. City Council unanimously approved the second round of program funding in mid-November.

“We’re thrilled to be able to open round two of the ERAP just before Christmas,” Erwin said. “We know many citizens are still struggling to get back on their feet and encourage those who are behind on or unable to make payments to apply to the program.”

Click here to apply to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Who qualifies?

Program guidelines for round two have changed. To qualify, households must have an income at or below 50% 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.

Additionally, households must demonstrate they are at risk of homelessness, 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 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

Those who have already received ERAP funds are not eligible for additional funding under the new guidelines.

How to apply

Visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/COVID-19-Emergency-Rental-Assistance to get started. Those without internet access may dial 2-1-1 to speak with a trained operator.

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’s website or email covidhelp@huntsvilleal.gov for assistance.