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Emergency Rental Assistance is not available for some in Madison County

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Emergency housing assistance has saved many Alabamians from being evicted, but as we move away from the peak of the pandemic, fewer resources are available to help tenants.

For those living in northern Alabama, the city of Huntsville and the state of Alabama offer limited help, but programs fail for some who live in Madison County.

For one Madison County resident, her financial struggles began with necessary medical leave. She said she was unable to return to work and her finances suffered.

“I had done everything I could, using my savings and the things I had put away in case there was a problem,” said a Madison County resident. “But I got to a place where it was also coming to an end.”

She said she needed help, and when she went for help, an internet search led to the Madison County Rental Assistance Program. This program distributed the last of its funds in November last year, but if you search for it online, the program may still appear to be active on third-party sites like findhelp.org.

“It got to a place where the ends stopped meeting, so you go there and ask for help,” she said. “You are looking for alternatives, but the options are very few.”

The only other local program available is the City of Huntsville, but you are only eligible if you live within the city limits. Because the City of Huntsville and Madison County at one time provided local rental assistance, the state will not provide rental assistance to anyone living in those areas. If you live in Madison County but outside the city limits of Huntsville, you are not eligible for any rental financial assistance.

Additionally, the Madison County resident said information about these resources is hard to come by.

“There has been no communication at any level about what the process is or who you can turn to if certain things don’t happen, so if you don’t have an answer how long does it take- it and how soon should you initiate certain level of action,” she said.

She said that after asking for more information about these programs, she had to wait days and call multiple times for answers.


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