MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- A massive effort is underway in Mobile County to help people struggling to pay rent and utilities.
The Mobile County Emergency Rental Assistance application opened Monday morning.
“We’ve already received 4,344 applications,” said Nayyer Mahdi, Director of Grant Management for Mobile County. “Now not all of them will be eligible, but that just goes to show you what a huge demand there is for this kind of money.”
The $12.3 million is being provided by the U.S. Government to help renters.
If approved, payment will be made directly to landlords and utility companies, not residents.
“It is very sad that there are so many people who need help, but it is also gratifying that there is this money that can help some,” Mahdi said.
According to an analysis from a progressive think tank, roughly 1 in 5 Alabamians last month were not caught up on rent because of the pandemic.
The county hopes this program will help with that and provide up to a year of late payments and several months of future rent.
“We were thinking we were going to start processing by the end of this week, however with the numbers we have already seen we are going to start processing them tomorrow,” Mahdi said.
The county hopes the first checks will go out by the end of the month.
Landlords also have the ability to apply on behalf of tenants.
To apply or learn morning information, click here.