Mobile County Treasury Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance (TERA)
Thank you for your interest in Mobile County’s Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance (TERA) Program. Due to limited remaining funds, we are no longer accepting new applications effective December 7, 2021.
Please be aware that emergency assistance is available through the City of Mobile’s Rental and Utility Assistance Program using the rental assistance application or the utility assistance application. We encourage those in need to utilize this program to meet emergency rental and utility needs.
Renters: Have you experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship during or due directly / indirectly to the coronavirus pandemic? Are you behind on rent and/or utilities and perhaps even at risk of eviction or having utilities shut off?
Landlords: Are your tenants behind on their rent?
If you responded yes to any of the above, the Mobile County Commission (County) may be able to help. The County has been awarded $12,376,572 in U.S. Treasury funding for Emergency Rental Assistance (TERA1) through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) and $9,793,002 for additional Emergency Rental Assistance (TERA2) from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to provide income-qualified, COVID-impacted households with resources for rental, utility, and other eligible assistance. While eligibility criteria varies slightly (e.g., TERA2 allows for assistance related to a financial hardship during and not just due directly/indirectly to the pandemic as required by TERA1), funds are still available under both TERA1 and TERA2, with the potential for receipt of additional funding for both programs through the U.S. Treasury reallocation effort. The County will make a determination as to which program to use based on a variety of factors including (but not limited to) timing, availability of funds, financial hardship justification and amount/number of months of assistance needed.
The County continues to accept online applications and has a centralized call center to support new and current applicants. Renters, as well as landlords on behalf of renters, may apply for assistance; however, the renter will need to provide eligibility documents and must sign the application. Eligibility requirements must be met and not all households will qualify.
Eligible Rent and Utility Costs
- Past due rent starting from March 13, 2020 to present
- Current and future rent
- Past due and current utility and energy expenses to include electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash removal, and energy costs such as LP gas
Assistance may be provided for up to 15 months under TERA1 or 18 months with TERA2. Future rent assistance will be for no more than 3 months at a time. Applicants must reapply every 3 months and will be assisted only if eligibility requirements are met and funds are available.
Renter Eligibility Requirements
- Must reside and be obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling unit within Mobile County, Alabama. This includes all the municipalities within the County and the unincorporated areas of Mobile County.
- One or more individuals in the household experience financial hardship either during (i.e., March 13, 2020 and forward) or due directly / indirectly to the coronavirus pandemic (criteria dependent on use of TERA1 or TERA2):
- Qualify for unemployment, or
- Have experienced a reduction in household income, or
- Incurred significant costs, or
- Experienced other financial hardship
- Household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing an eviction notice and/or past-due utility / rent notice. Other evidence of risk includes being overly rent-burdened (having housing costs equal to or in excess of 50% of income) or having other compelling evidence (in the opinion of the County) that demonstrates risk.
- Applicant has a household income at or below HUD 80% AMI.
Based on the number of members in your household (including yourself), your household income for 2020, or your estimated income for 2021, must be at or below the level shown in the chart.
|80% Income Threshold Requirements|
|Number of Persons in Household||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8|
Please note that both the tenant and the landlord, if the landlord applies on behalf of the tenant, will need to create an account on the website, complete and submit an application. When you register at https://www.mobilecountyal.gov/grants/rental-and-utility-assistance/ and create your account, an email will be sent providing you with the link to the application.
What To Expect:
- Households applying directly can anticipate the following:
- You will be prompted for copies of various documentation.
- The system will require information from your landlord:
- Let your landlord know you are applying for assistance and that they will need to sign off on the application; or
- You can ask your landlord to apply on your behalf using the LANDLORD application, noting that you will still have to provide additional information to support income and COVID-related financial hardship.
- For landlords applying for rent on behalf of tenants:
- The tenant will need to complete and submit a TENANT application and provide additional information to support income and COVID-related financial hardship.
- All payments will be made directly to the landlord and/or utility provider, or where efforts to secure cooperation by such have been exhausted, directly to the household.
- All payments must be used to satisfy the tenant’s rental/utility obligations or other expenses related to housing (as may be allowed by Treasury).
- The landlord SHALL NOT evict the tenant for nonpayment of rent during the period covered by any TERA payment (including months covered by any future rent payments).
- The landlord is encouraged (but not required) to consider providing an additional period of time (e.g., 30 to 90 days) for non-eviction over and above the period covered by any TERA payment.”
Applications received during the first 75 days (i.e., up until May 14, 2021) prioritized very low income households (less than 50% AMI) and/or households in which one or more members were unemployed, and had been unemployed for the previous 90 days.
Beginning May 15, 2021, subject to availability of funding, application review shifted to the order of submission with priority given to those cases, which include rent and/or rent and utility payments, rather than utility payments only. In addition, priority for TERA2 funding will be given to those applicants who qualify under the Eviction Prevention Program and those seeking additional funding to supplement prior assistance to maintain housing (also see Eviction Prevention Program – COVID).
U.S. Department of Treasury
The Mobile County TERA Program has been designed based on requirements as set forth at U.S. Treasury Overview & Requirements.
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