By Joe Miley, Madison County Commission, District 6

Commissioner Violet Edwards says when the funds became available, it was a no brainer to apply for the people of Madison County. “It is needed from both the renters and the landlords. You know some people have lost their jobs and their sick about not being able to pay their bills and then you have landlords who depend on that money coming in from those rental properties,” says Violet Edwards to WHNT News 19.

HUNTSVILLE, AL – Commissioner Violet Edwards, representative of the sixth district of Madison County, announces $5M for emergency rental and utility assistance for residents of Madison County.

Commissioner Edwards sought these federal dollars on behalf of the entirety of Madison County and will be administered out of her office.

“I am proud to announce that my office has secured $5.2M in federal grant money for emergency assistance with rental and utility payments. These funds will provide much needed relief across our county, helping our community fight against this pandemic. This grant will not only allow for relief for tenants but also for landlords who are struggling to make ends meet.”

“Offering direct assistance to citizens is new territory for Madison County, but during these unprecedented times, we have to be willing to do what we can to bring relief to our community. We will continue to work with local non-profits to assist as many people as this money will allow.

“I also want to thank my staff who is working around the clock to roll out this program successfully. This is an enormous effort, and several Madison County departments are diligently working together to ensure that once we get the money, we can begin assisting families as soon as possible. I appreciate my colleagues who have worked with me in a bipartisan manner to meet the needs of Madison County.”

Commissioner Edwards also serves as Board President of the North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless since 2018. In her role, she has witnessed firsthand the housing instability and utility assistance needed in Madison County. This federal assistance will provide relief that will take aim at the staggering inequality surrounding these issues.

Commissioner Violet Edwards was sworn in on November 11, 2020, and today marks her 72nd day in office. Ms. Edwards first 100 days have been focused on working on ways to provide relief during this COVID-19 pandemic for her constituents and the county at large. The award of this federal grant is a culmination of the Commissioner’s broader effort to promote health and safety across her district and Madison County.

This money is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which established a $25 billion Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program for state, county, and municipal governments.