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.