Housing instability efforts continue in Jefferson County as federal eviction moratorium ends

Coronavirus
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The expiration of the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire this Saturday, and local government and other organizations across Central Alabama are working to provide housing stability for tenants in Jefferson County.

“We’re looking at about 60 families or more that will be receiving rental and or utility assistance from us,” said Dr. Charlena M. Morton of Neighborhood Housing Services, an organization that promotes urban stability in Birmingham.

Jefferson County has partnered with NHS as well as Birmingham Urban League and Bridge Ministries to help manage the rental assistance programs in the county.

“We want all of our residents to have housings stability; we don’t want our residents to worry about where they are going to lay their heads the next day,” said Chris Hatcher, Interim Director of the Birmingham’s Community Development Department.

The City of Birmingham was awarded around $5 million for emergency rental assistance programs via the Federal Cares Act. The Jefferson County Commission received around $11.5 million. These funds go towards covering rent and utility bills for people financially impacted by the pandemic.

Since April, the City of Birmingham’s Rental Assistance program has had around 500 households completed a full application, and 170 applications received rental and utility assistance.

In order for the program to be successful, the Birmingham Community Development Department has been working directly with landlords encouraging them to work with tenants sharing more information about the assistance available.

“Apply today; these funds are good now until September 30,” said Morton.

To be eligible for the funds, you have to live in Jefferson County and in the City of Birmingham; you have to have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income, and you have be at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability as well as have a documented financial hardship due to Covid-19.

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