Birmingham Emergency Rental Assistance Program holds in-person event

Local News
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — This week, the CDC announced it will extend the federal eviction moratorium through October 3 due to the spread of the delta variant.

In an effort to provide support to landlords and renters that have been impacted by the virus, the city of Birmingham’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program held an in-person event to get applications filled out.

The Birmingham Rental Assistance Program began accepting applications back in April and there have been around 200 people who have received assistance so far.

“This is really the first opportunity to provide residents in-person applications and intake on counseling for documentation that they need and showing them how the program works,” said Chris Hatcher, the Interim Director of Birmingham’s Community Development Department.

The program is made possible with more than $6.2 million in federal funding. Organizers say they will continue to provide assistance until the funds run out.

“I can’t speak to how crucial this program is to our residents, to make sure they are maintaining housing security. We are able to provide rent 12 months past due and we can extend that out to three months in advance paying rent and utilities,” said Hatcher.

“It’s going to help me a whole lot because they were pretty far behind on their rent,” said B.R. Stephens, a Birmingham landlord applying for rental assistance at Saturday’s event.

The program is helping landlords like Stephen who has tenants that have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

“One of my tenants, because she got so behind, is she has the virus twice so she really got behind,” said Stephens.

Stephens owns two rental properties in the Birmingham area and he’s hoping the financial assistance will help him stay afloat.

“I’m retired and I have mortgages on both of those things so if they don’t pay their rent, I have to pay it, so it puts me in a bind,” said Stephens.

Birmingham Rental Assistance organizers say they are hoping to host another in-person event to help people in Birmingham fill out and complete their applications. A set date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Click here for a Birmingham Emergency Rental Assistance application.

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