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Madison County Emergency Rental Assistance application live

Emergency rental assistance portal open for Madison County
Emergency rental assistance portal open for Madison County
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 11:01 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - After months of a back and forth between Madison County Commissioners, people struggling to pay their rent can now officially apply for their share of over $5 million in rental assistance.

As of Tuesday, The Madison County Emergency Rental Assistance Program is accepting applications.

That means renters and landlords in Madison County who haven’t received rental assistance yet can apply right now.

Funds can be used for past-due rent as far back as April 2020, future rent payments, and utilities.

“The eviction bans started more than a year ago. So landlords have been waiting for rental assistance from back in March of last year,” Attorney Sarah Taggart said.

But who is eligible?

Tenants must live in Madison County, but outside the city limits of Huntsville, qualify for unemployment benefits, had a loss of income due to COVID-19, at the risk of being homeless, and finally, the household income cannot exceed 80 percent of the areas median income.

District 4 Commissioner, Phil Vandiver says he’s grateful it’s now available.

“There’s a lot of people, I understand talking to the judges and talking to some people out here that still need a little help from the COVID. They weren’t able to pay their bills, weren’t able to pay their rent,” Vandiver said.

“I hope we can help a lot of families with this program,” Vandiver added.

But what if you have already applied for the state program but not received any money?

“They’re in a big black hole. There’s no real way to tell where their application is in the process,” Taggart said.

The website says applicants can’t apply for both.

But Attorney Sarah Taggart says she knows many people who have applied through the state and still haven’t seen a check.

“I have eviction cases tenants, where we filed our applications and the applications just seem to sit in a vacuum. No word one way or another if they’re going to get paid,” she explained.

Right now, the state has 25,000 applications in the process but had to throw out thousands recently.

A spokesperson said in part, “more than 4,500 applications were withdrawn after repeated attempts to contact the landlord and/or tenant for information needed to complete applications.”

If you’re having trouble with the application, there is a call center that can help.

844-804-9454

Call Center Hours

Monday- Friday: 8:30 a.m. -7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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