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How to Apply for Assistance

ERA Alabama provides assistance to all counties and jurisdictions with the exception of: Baldwin County, Jefferson County, Madison County, Mobile County, Montgomery County, Tuscaloosa County, City of Birmingham, and the City of Huntsville. Visit our FAQs page for information on how to access emergency rental assistance programs in those areas.

How to Apply

Complete an online application OR call a program representative at (833) 620-2434 (toll free) to apply over the phone. The toll-free number offers access to assistance in multiple languages.

  • Tenants may apply directly for unpaid or future rent or utilities. If your landlord is willing to participate, you can either apply directly and your landlord will be contacted for additional information, or you can work with your Landlord for them to apply on your behalf using the LANDLORD application.
  • If your landlord chooses not to participate in the Program, you as the Tenant may still apply, subject to verification, for rental and utility assistance by completing the online application or by calling the toll-free number listed above to apply over the phone.
  • For tenants without an email address, the Landlord can print the application form, obtain a physical signature, and mail or upload the application and related income documents on the tenant’s behalf. If needed, tenants will be contacted by a Program representative to assist in gathering necessary information and documents to complete the Tenant Profile.

Landlord Participation

Participation means that either a landlord:

  • Registers with ERA Alabama to receive direct payment rather than rental assistance being paid direct to tenant, or
  • Separately provides written verification of the landlord-tenant, inclusive of amounts owed and evidence of a fully executed lease agreement, especially when the tenant fails to provide satisfactory evidence to verify the relationship. Under this option, the landlord agrees that any assistance provided will be paid direct to tenant and assumes all risks if the tenant fails to remit the payment to the landlord.

Required Documents:

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Government or current school-issued ID  for all household members eighteen years of age and older residing in the subject property.

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Signed copy of rent or lease agreement (or rent receipt)

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Rental ledger covering all periods for which rental assistance is requested

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Notices of late rent payment or notice to evict, if applicable

Your Landlord can still apply for assistance on your behalf, or you can apply directly. The process is the same whether an eviction proceeding has started or not. ERA Alabama encourages those facing imminent eviction to reach out to Legal Services of Alabama at www.legalservicesalabama.org or by phone at (866) 456- 4995.

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The most recent utility bill for which utility assistance is requested.

To be eligible for assistance, the name of the tenant and/or address provided per the ERA Alabama application must match the name and/or address for each utility statement submitted. Income documentation for all household members 18 years of age and older (or head and/or co-head of household if all members are under 18) must be provided from one of the two options below:

  • If you have completed your household’s federal income taxes for 2020, you will need to provide one of the following:
    • Copy of your Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040
    • Copy of your Filed 2020 IRS Form 1040-SR
  • If you are a current and qualified recipient of assistance from one or more of the programs listed below, you can provide an applicable benefit letter:
    • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) (EBT).
    • Medicaid
    • LIHEAP (Low-Income Energy Assistance Program)
  • If you have not yet completed your federal income taxes for 2020 OR you are not required to file a federal income tax return for 2020, you will need to provide all of the applicable income documentation under one of the following two categories:
    • Acceptable annual income documentation:
      • 2020 IRS Form W2
      • Current Social Security Benefits letter or 2020 Form 1099-SA (including benefits paid to minors)
      • 2020 Form 1099-R
      • 2020 IRS Form 1099-MISC for contractor income
    • Other acceptable income documentation:
      • Check stubs from your employer for the previous 30 days
      • Current unemployment benefits letter including gross benefit amount
      • Current letter from your employer verifying gross wages (pay rate, hours/week, pay date)
      • Current Pension/Retirement Benefit letter (if applicable)
      • Current Annuity Payment letter
      • Current Interest Statement 1099- INT
      • Current Dividend Statement 1099- DIV
      • Self-Employment Certification Form
      • Cash or No Income Certification Form

ERA Alabama reserves the right to request additional documentation in order to substantiate the validity of an application.

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