Many landlords and tenants across the United States experienced different sorts of financial hardship due to COVID-19. Even though the effects of the pandemic have weakened over the past couple of years, many people are still struggling to make ends meet.

In an effort to solve this problem, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 authorized the first Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program allowed eligible household members to cover their future rent and home energy costs through financial assistance.

Each state, including Alabama, has different rules surrounding eligibility and required documents to apply directly for the program. This page will tell you everything you must know about the process of applying online for the ERAP in Alabama.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing, the state of Alabama isn't accepting new applications. Furthermore, nearly all the funds available were distributed by the U.S. Treasury as of December 2022. The nature of COVID-19 and its effects on the nationwide economy are subject to change, so these guidelines can be adjusted as time passes. If you want to check for application availability, check the official ERAP portal for your county.

What Is ERAP in Alabama?

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program gave eligible households access to financial assistance. These funds could be used to cover accrued payments like rent or utility bills.

According to AlabamaLegalHelp, the program has already exhausted all its funds. However, those living within the city limits of Birmingham or Jefferson County may still be able to apply, as there are still funds available at the time of writing.

Still, we encourage potential applicants to check their local programs for any updates. Even though some of them may have run out of funds, it's possible that the circumstances could change in the future.

How Does ERAP Work in Alabama?

Landlords and tenants in Alabama can apply online to receive financial/debt relief. You're required to provide proper documentation about yourself, your tenant, and your property.

If an eligible household member applies for financial assistance, they could receive the following benefits:

  • Up to three months of future rent
  • Up to 12 months of past-due rent
  • Coverage for utility services like electricity, sewer, trash, or water

After getting your request for financial assistance approved, you'll receive the funds by ACH direct deposit. You're supposed to include your banking information during the application process to get the money later.

Understanding the Difference Between ERAP1 and ERAP2

ERAP1 and 2 are the "phases" the program went through. ERAP1 was approved by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. It gave the state a $263 million congressional grant for the program.

ERAP2, on the other hand, was designed by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. In Alabama, the government received a $203 million congressional grant for this phase.

Governor Kay Ivey authorized the Alabama Housing Finance Authority to roll out the ERA program back on February 12, 2021.

The main difference between both phases is that ERAP2 focused on providing more flexibility and accessibility to low-income individuals who wanted to get financial assistance.

How Does ERAP Benefit Alabama Landlords?

Landlords in Alabama benefit in the sense that they will get the money they're owed, which can ease their financial burden a bit.

Moreover, receiving financial assistance from ERAP can also help in reducing disputes between leasing parties and promoting a more collaborative communication process.

What Is the Landlord's Role in the Application Process?

Landlords are encouraged to help their renters during the application process. This includes verifying the documents the tenant is providing and checking if anything is missing.

In Alabama, landlords themselves can apply for ERAP by listing all the properties they manage, as well as the renters who need assistance. Once the landlord submits this information, the listed tenants get an email where they're encouraged to submit their profile.

To summarize, both the landlord and tenant must participate actively in the application process. This ensures that both parties are more likely to receive the financial assistance they need.

Who Is Eligible for ERAP in Alabama?

These are the requirements for applying for ERAP in Alabama:

  • Prove that one or more household members are at risk of facing homelessness or housing instability.
  • Prove that the pandemic caused any kind of financial hardship to one of the household members. These members can also show proof that they qualified for unemployment because of the pandemic.
  • The gross household income can't go over 80% of the area median income (AMI).
  • The applicant must be living in the property for which they're requesting financial assistance.

Can Tenants on Other Government Housing Plans Apply to ERAP?

Currently, there's no information about this topic. Most local programs have run out of funds, so they don't provide any updated information about whether tenants on other housing plans can apply for ERAP.

If you're applying for ERAP and are already receiving funding from another housing plan (such as Section 8), make sure to add that information to your application document. This will help the government assess your eligibility.

How to Apply for ERAP in Alabama

Both landlords and tenants can apply online or by calling (833) 620-2434. At the time of writing, the official ERAP page for Alabama ( isn't available.

Landlords must provide the following documentation:

  • Property address
  • Contact information
  • Banking information
  • W-9

Tenants, on the other hand, have to provide the following:

  • Copy of the lease
  • Valid ID
  • Proof of income
  • Utility bills
  • Rent ledger or statement
  • Eviction notice (if applicable)
  • Evidence of the negative economic impact of COVID-19 on the person

In some cases, applicants may have to fill out certain forms, including:

  • Self-employment income form
  • Income certification form
  • Self-certification of assets form
  • Utility information release authorization form

After sending all the documents, you must wait until you get contacted by the state. If it needs further information from you or your tenant, it'll ask for more documents. Otherwise, you'll receive a notification about the approval or denial of your request eventually.

The Influence of ERAP in Landlord-Tenant Relationships

ERAP has helped landlords and tenants throughout the entire country work on their communication and resolve disputes effectively.

It's no surprise that the pandemic has made a lot of people frustrated, so getting financial relief from these local programs ensures that all parties in a lease are more willing to work together and negotiate potential solutions.

How DoorLoop Can Help Landlords Stay Informed

Sometimes, it's impossible to keep track of all the information that we receive daily. Missing the slightest piece of information can lead to landlords missing potential rental opportunities and wasting time.

If you're struggling to find reputable and trustworthy information channels, feel free to go to DoorLoop for assistance. The website is constantly updated with the latest information on rental markets throughout the country, ensuring you get the competitive edge you need to manage your portfolio and make as much money as possible.

Bottom Line - Manage Your Rental Portfolio Efficiently

There are many resources and tools homeowners can find online, and by taking advantage of them, they can maximize their profits and save valuable time and money.

DoorLoop aims to be the perfect solution to all your needs. From its intuitive dashboard to its comprehensive list of features, you can get the assistance you deserve to manage your entire portfolio from the comfort of your computer or phone.

If you want to get the latest news on Alabama's rental market or try out DoorLoop yourself, request a demo!

Frequently Asked Quesitons

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.