More COVID Money Available in Shelby County for Rental Assistance

Mar 3, 2021


A federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of March.
Credit Public Domain

A new pool of money is available to help those in Shelby County facing evictions or struggling to pay bills because of circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Landlords can also apply for funding through a $28 million federally-supported assistance program.

“This could be the safety valve that these families need to help them get back on track,” said Paul Young, director of the City of Memphis’ division of housing and community development. “On the flip side, this is a safety valve for the landlords.”

At this point, Young said some landlords may not have received rent for close to a year because of extended federal moratoriums on evictions. 

The most recent one is set to expire at the end of this month. 

Eligibility requirements for renters include residency in Shelby County and a household income of less than 80 percent of the local median income. For an individual that’s less than $38,000 and $54,000 for a family of four. Applicants must also demonstrate financial hardship related to COVID-19 and that they are at risk of housing instability or homelessness.  

Landlords seeking relief fill out a separate form

Young says dollars dispersed will be based on an applicant’s needs, but that on average, he expects checks to be between $1,000 and $2,500.  

Individuals and families can also apply for utility assistance. 

Dorcas Young Griffin, with Shelby County’s community services, says the program will prioritize the most vulnerable.

“When you have a utility cutoff, or you are facing an eviction, those people are being pulled from the application pool so that we can try to serve them immediately,” she said.  

Officials plan to process up to 1,500 applications per month.