Author Pat Byington – January 25, 2021January 25, 2021
Apartment complex near Rhodes Circle on Southside Birmingham. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now
Help is on the way for Birmingham residents needing assistance to pay rent and utilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, Mayor Randall L. Woodfin announced the City of Birmingham had been notified that it will receive $6,272,092 from the federal government through the Emergency Rental Assistance program.
“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. 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 allies 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.”
Mayor Randall Woodfin
Before they can assist local residents, the city needs to establish the program and process to distribute the funds. Once that is complete, the funds for the program must be approved by the Birmingham City Council. which also must be approved by the city council. Then, hopefully soon, applications for assistance are made available.
Avondale II apartments (image courtesy of SVN/Kahn Properties)
In order to help residents know if they qualify for assistance, the city listed in their recent news release the following requirements and criteria for the program.
Here is their guidance.
An “eligible household” 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: andHas a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median.
This program is for City of Birmingham residents.
Remember, the program needs to be developed by the city and funding approved by the Council. In the meantime, an information line has been established to provide regular updates. The number is 205.250.7537. Residents can also follow updates at www.birminghamal.gov/COVIDRENT .
Need Help Now?
If you can’t wait for the new program, in 2020, Bham Now published a helpful guide to assist renters and people who need help with their utilities. Check it out.
About to lose your housing in Birmingham? Get help now.
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama’s Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama’s cancer risk and mercury standards.