The Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) and Jefferson County are working together to offer an additional $25 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) for Jefferson County residents.
Funded by the U.S. Treasury, ERA was designed to provide short-term help with rent and utilities to lower-income renters experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alabama’s statewide program, administered by AHFA, is focused on renters in the state’s more rural counties. By transferring a portion of the statewide allocation to Jefferson County, the funds will address a recent increase in rental assistance requests in that area.
“Areas with higher populations generally have more households who rent,” said AHFA Multifamily Administrator David Young. “By working with Jefferson County to transfer funds from the ERA’s primarily rural program to a local, urban program with unanticipated demand, we are ensuring that Alabama keeps its federal funds in state.”
William Barnes, President of Birmingham Urban League, the organization managing Jefferson County’s ERAP program, says they continue to see a strong need for the program.
“We have not seen a dip in applications since we started this program back in 2021. The need is continuous and real,” said Barnes. “We do see that some people are reaching the threshold for financial assistance, and we are working with them to get to a good place where financial assistance is no longer needed.”
As of December 31, 2022, the Jefferson County ERAP program has served 2,960 households totaling $25,979,689.54. Anyone interested in applying for assistance or learning more about the program can visit erap.jccal.org.