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Renters can apply to state for help starting March 1

Rent drop box outside apartment leasing office.
Rent drop box outside apartment leasing office.(WRDW)
Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 12:45 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Alabama Housing Finance Authority will manage the state’s new COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Alabama is funded entirely by a $263 million congressional grant under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. AHFA is developing a program for processing online applications statewide, by landlords and renters.

AHFA expects to accept applications from landlords and tenants for ERA Alabama beginning March 1.

The ERA Alabama website, www.ahfa.com/era will be updated with new developments.

Anticipated Eligibility Requirements

In order to receive financial assistance through ERA, tenants must meet all of the following:

  • Have a valid rental agreement in their name
  • Household’s total gross income cannot exceed 80% Area Median Income for location

The household has experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19, for example:

  • Being laid off
  • Place of employment has closed
  • Reduction in hours of work
  • Loss of spousal/child support
  • Inability to find work due to COVID-19
  • Having to stay home with children due to closure of day care/school
  • Unable to participate in previous employment due to the workplace’s high risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Anticipated Documentation

  • Proof of income (pay stubs, bank statements, letter from employer, award letters, pension)
  • Valid lease or other written documentation of landlord-tenant relationship

Coverage of Rent and Utility Costs

ERA Alabama can help renters with the following costs starting as far back as March 13, 2020:

  • Past due, current and up to 3 months of expected rent costs
  • Past due, current or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses
  • After the initial 3 months of forward assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available

While applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, ERA Alabama will not commit funds for future rent for more than a 3-month period at a time. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will only be assisted if funds are still available.

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