The Alabama Housing Finance Authority officially began accepting applications for the Alabama Emergency Rental Assistance Program this week.

Through this program, Alabamians who were impacted by COVID-19 and have fallen behind on rent and utility bills can apply for assistance to help pay those bills, including those that are past due.

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This program is available to both renters and landlords to help fill in any gaps in payments. They can visit the ERA website, create an account and fill out the application from there.

This program can assist renters with payments as far back as March 13th 2020. Costs included are:

  • 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

Once those initial three months of assistance end, renters can apply for an additional 3 months of aid should funds still be available.

In order to qualify, households must have an income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income. One or more of the tenants must have qualified for unemployment or show they have experienced a significant financial loss as a result of COVID-19.

These funds will be prioritized by the AHFA to first go to households with incomes at or below 50% Area Media Income, or with one or more tenants unemployed at the date of the application and 90 days prior.

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I have fought hard to expand rental assistance for my constituents.," said Terri Sewell, U.S. Representative for Alabama's 7th district, who helped get this program approved.

To apply for emergency relief, either call 833-620-2434, or visit the ERA website for more information.

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