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Federal grant to help Huntsville citizens with pandemic-related expenses

Published on January 28, 2021

Covid-19 relief grant graphic

Huntsville citizens who have fallen behind on rent or utility payments during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could get some relief, thanks to a $6 million federal grant.

The City Council approved the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance grant at its January 28 meeting, though distribution details are still being finalized. Scott Erwin, Huntsville’s community development manager, said the funds should be a welcome relief to those in need.

“Those who have been financially affected (by the pandemic) will have a huge burden lifted if they’re behind on their rent and utility obligations,” he said. “This will help anyone who’s had financial stress from a lack of income, particularly service workers.”

Madison County received a slightly smaller grant allocation of $5.2 million, but Erwin said the county’s grant is for county residents only. Only Huntsville citizens will be eligible to receive the city’s funding.

Even though details are being ironed out, Erwin said the funds might be distributed by local nonprofits that are already adept at addressing citizens’ needs.

“That’s the kind of thing they do every day,” he said.

This isn’t the first grant the City has received to help citizens during the pandemic. Erwin said a Community Development Block Grant received last year also provided much-needed relief. He explained the City might be eligible for additional grants, but it would depend on available federal funding.

City Council meetings are aired live on HSV TV (Comcast 16 and WOW 42), via HSV TV online, and they are available for on-demand viewing in our Video Library.