The federal government has notified the city of Birmingham that it will receive $6.27 million from the Emergency Rental Assistance program, meant to assist Birmingham households that are unable to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is another tool for the city to help our residents as they deal with the economic impact on their lives due to the pandemic,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in a statement from the mayor’s office. “I made this a priority for our team to secure these funds once they were made available by the U.S. Treasury Department. We moved swiftly to work closely with our partners in Washington, particularly U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama’s Seventh District.”
“No one should be at a risk of losing their home or services due to economic hardships from COVID-19,” Woodfin said.
As of Friday, the city isn’t accepting applications but has begun work establishing a process for distribution. The Birmingham City Council must approve the funds before they can be utilized.
An “eligible household,” according to the mayor’s office, is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals meets the following criteria:
- Qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.
A website and telephone line have been established to provide regular updates and information. The telephone number is 205-250-7537.