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Where to apply for COVID-19 rent and utility relief in Shelby County

Shelby County's COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program is reopening applications starting Tuesday, February 1.
Credit: juliasudnitskaya - stock.adobe.com

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County announced Monday that applications for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program will reopen Tuesday, February 1, 2022 with a larger staff and new tools that expand access to the program for county residents. 

The program, which has already helped more than 13,500 Shelby County residents is administered by Shelby County Government and the City of Memphis.

In a statement, county officials said staff was increased by 60%, with 38 full-time positions created to address the needs of more Shelby County residents. 

In addition, new door-to-door canvassers will bring program information directly to residents. The canvassing will target communities that are COVID hotspots, have high utility cutoff notifications, increased eviction rates, and residents who meet the income guidelines.

RELATED: New program that will provide financial relief for struggling renters due to COVID-19

The Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (ERA) began accepting applications last March. It has assisted 13,566 Shelby County residents with rent and/or utility relief and dispersed a total of $42.6 million.

Additionally, Shelby County’s procedures have received recognition from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a program with “Promising Practices.”

“For so many of our residents, the inability to work during the pandemic meant they couldn’t pay their rent, utilities, or sometimes both," said Dorcas Young Griffin, Division of Community Services director. "This lifeline has allowed them to keep their families in their homes. And I’m proud of the federal recognition we have received for our program innovations.”

Applicants can find more information and check the status of their applications online.