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Atlanta Rent Assistance Programs

Written by: John Crawford
Last updated: January 30, 2024

Atlanta has several charities, churches, and government programs that assist with paying rent. They may also assist with security deposits, homeless shelters, eviction prevention, and provide financial help with utilities to end homelessness. The following information can be used to locate emergency rental assistance, free legal aid for eviction prevention, and housing services.

Due to a lack of funding, most nonprofits in Atlanta cannot offer rent assistance to those who need it. All organizations will have their application procedures, and income requirements met. We recommend you contact each organization to request information on how to apply for rental or housing or enquire about referrals.

Georgia Rental Assistance

The State of Georgia received $989 million under the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program to assist individuals, families, and landlords whose finances have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13, 2020. The funds will be used to pay for rental and utility expenses and other expenses associated with the lease. In March 2021, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) began implementing this program. Applicants eligible for payment relief will receive up to 18 months of relief from their landlord and service provider. Applicants must have either been unemployed or experienced financial hardship since March 13, 2020; be at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI), and be at or below risk of experiencing homelessness.

Tenant Requirements

Here are the tenet requirements applicants must fulfill to be eligible for this program:

  • A state identification card or passport is required for identification
  • Each adult (age 18 and over) in the household must provide income documents
  • Past due notices of rent or utility bills, as well as account numbers
  • A copy of the lease
  • The applicant must prove that they are unemployed or provide evidence that COVID-19 has directly or indirectly led to a decrease in income, higher costs, or financial hardship.

Landlord Requirements

The following are the landlord requirements applicants should fulfill to be eligible:

  • Identification (state identification card or passport)
  • Authorization/Agreement for the owner of a management company to act on their behalf
  • Notice of Delinquent Rent
  • For ACH payments, you will need the W-9 form and your bank information

Fulton County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Fulton County residents outside of Atlanta who qualify for rental assistance will be able to receive up to 18 months of assistance beginning August 25, 2021. There is no longer a maximum payment cap on rent. Qualified applicants are now eligible for:

Up to 18 months of rent assistance will be provided, including help with back rent (no maximum) and help with future rent. Additionally, utility assistance will be extended for 15 months for people behind on their utility bills. All forms of assistance are limited to a maximum of 18 months.

All applicants who have applied for Emergency Rental Assistance since August 2, 2021, will be eligible for increased award limits retroactively. Emergency Rental Assistance applicants do not need to submit a new application; their case managers will contact them.

Those living outside Atlanta's city limits who qualify for emergency assistance for rent and utilities (water, gas, electricity) due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for this assistance. 

The federal government has established eligibility requirements for residents, including:

  • COVID-19 outbreak has caused one or more individuals in the household to lose their jobs, reduced household income, incur high costs, or face other financial difficulties;
  • At least one member of the household may be at risk for homelessness or housing instability; and
  • The household earns 80% of the area's median income or less.

Priority will be given to households with documented evictions, households with incomes at or below 50% AMI, and households experiencing 90 days or more of unemployment.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program I (ERAP I) and Emergency Rental Assistance Program II (ERAP II) may apply to you if you apply for Fulton County's Emergency Rental Assistance Program according to the time your application is processed and the funds available at that time.

City of Atlanta COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Interested City of Atlanta residents can apply for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program ONLY. A resident facing eviction may use funds to pay their past due rent, utilities, and deposit to move into a new home. In addition, a move-in deposit or past due bills must be provided as proof of identity, income, and loss of income due to the pandemic. If a resident qualifies, they must earn 80% of the AMI or less (the qualifying income is determined after a job loss or financial hardship). You can see the AMI chart and eligibility criteria for this program here.

Funds received under Atlanta COVID-19 can be used to pay rent, gas, electric, water, security deposit, trash removal, Internet fees, and current or past due utility bills. Additionally, applicants may also be eligible to receive assistance with future payments for three months.

Atlanta Salvation Army

Housing counseling, funding for rent, and referrals to other comprehensive crisis centers and government programs are some of the services offered by the charity organization. Get emergency financial assistance available to families and individuals in a crisis. These services include lodging, rent assistance, shelter, and even assistance with utility bills or cooling.

St. Vincent De Paul Society

A limited amount of rent assistance may be available through the St. Vincent De Paul Society, a partnership of local churches. Information is available on other social services, such as transitional housing and short-term loans. Before any funds are approved for paying housing or rental expenses, volunteers from St. Vincent visit the applicant's home in Atlanta.

Buckhead Christian Ministry 

The Buckhead Christian Ministry offers several free grants. These grants are intended to stop homelessness in Fulton County and the city. This nonprofit can help people pay their mortgage or rent, first month's rent or deposit, or even utility bills or cooling costs. The assistance can be short-term or long-term. Aid is provided through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Fund. 

Concerned Black Clergy Of Metropolitan Atlanta

Concerned Black Clergy Of Metropolitan Atlanta, a faith-based charity that helps minority and black communities, works with minorities and their communities. Financial assistance is available with a focus on rent assistance and eviction prevention. Bring a copy of the eviction letter, your employment details, and arrears.

Martin Luther King Sr. Community Resources Collaborative

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Resources Collaborative provides emergency assistance to low-income people. There is financial assistance for rent, coaching for life skills, and job search programs, among other resources. The office offers money or referrals for rent or mortgages and counseling on credit and vocational issues. 

Hosea Helps

Fulton County is the only area served by Hosea Helps. They offer assistance with rent and utilities as part of a homeless prevention program. Disabled people can access housing, and those in housing need can benefit from grants (or even rent loans). 

Ben Hill United Methodist Church

This non-profit church agency offers housing, rent, and other assistance to people in hardship situations in South Fulton County.

Clifton Sanctuary Ministries 

The Clifton Sanctuary Ministries will only assist males over 35 years of age, who have no income, and who have a referral. In addition to operating an emergency shelter, the organization can assist homeless people in finding an apartment. You can find out about public housing and affordable units. Since they are unable to pay rent, they offer transitional housing and other support. 

Many low-income families in Atlanta cannot pay the rent of their houses due to the current post-pandemic economic difficulties. Many rent assistance programs and charities assist these families in keeping up with their rent payments and eliminating the chances of getting evicted from their houses. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What types of rent assistance programs are available in Atlanta?

There are several rent assistance programs available in Atlanta, including government-funded programs, non-profit organizations, and faith-based initiatives. Some popular programs include the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Atlanta Housing (AH), and HomeFirst Gwinnett Initiative.

How do I apply for rent assistance in Atlanta?

To apply for rent assistance in Atlanta, you can start by contacting the relevant agency or organization offering the program. For example, you can visit the Atlanta Housing (AH) website or the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) website for information on available assistance programs. You can also reach out to local non-profit organizations, such as United Way or Salvation Army, for assistance.

What are the eligibility requirements for Atlanta rent assistance programs?

Eligibility requirements for Atlanta rent assistance programs vary depending on the program. Generally, applicants must demonstrate financial need, such as a loss of income or an unexpected expense, and meet specific income requirements based on household size. Some programs may also require proof of Atlanta residency and prioritization of applicants facing eviction or homelessness.

How much rent assistance can I receive from these programs?

The amount of rent assistance provided varies by program and individual circumstances. Some programs, like the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), may cover up to 12-18 months of rent and utility assistance for eligible applicants. Other programs may offer a one-time payment or ongoing monthly assistance based on need and available funding.

Can I apply for multiple rent assistance programs in Atlanta?

Yes, you can apply for multiple rent assistance programs in Atlanta. However, you must disclose any other assistance you are receiving or have applied for, as this may affect your eligibility or the amount of assistance provided. It is essential to research and apply for multiple programs to increase your chances of receiving the help you need.

Are you interested in learning more about the various programs and foundations that can help you with your financial needs? Read more of Gov Relations' resources on our website!

John Crawford
John Crawford is a dedicated researcher who has devoted his career to studying the intricacies of government benefits programs and their impact on individuals and communities. Armed with a Ph.D. in Social Policy and a strong analytical mind, John has contributed valuable insights through his extensive research projects. His work informs policymakers, enabling them to make data-driven decisions to improve social care programs. John's commitment to evidence-based research has made him a respected figure in the field, advocating for more equitable and effective government benefit policies.
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