MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Housing Finance Authority has been authorized to implement 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 (the “Act”). Issuing a declaration of public emergency, AHFA is presently developing a program for processing online applications statewide, by landlords and renters beginning March 1 at 8am.
Questions should be presented to the ERA Alabama program customer service center at 1-833-620-2434. The ERA Alabama website, www.ahfa.com/era will be updated frequently.
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
Documentation You Will Need
• Proof of income (pay stubs, bank statements, letter from employer, award letters, pension)
• 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 if funds are still available
While applicants may be assisted for up to 15 months, ERA Alabama will not commit funds for prospective (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.