Memphis and Shelby County receive more than $28 million for emergency rental assistance

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — So many people have fallen behind on bills during the pandemic.

Memphis and Shelby County just received more than $28 million to help with emergency rental assistance.

City leaders said this money goes way beyond what we have seen for these types of programs. That’s why they say this is a historic amount of money invested here locally.

“Financially, it’s a blessing that I got unemployment,” said Mia Grant who lost her job. “If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know what I would be doing.”

Grant and her family are like many who fell on hard times when she lost her good-paying job as a chef during the pandemic last March.

“The business got hit and closed and had to close down completely the catering business, and so I ended up getting unemployment and working through that and juggling my monies through there,” Grant said.

Grant may finally get relief now that the City of Memphis just announced its emergency and utility assistance program that can help families for up to 12 months.

City leaders expect to spend nearly $2.5 million a month, which will benefit a significant amount of families.

“Oh, that’s a blessing; yeah, the economy needs to be boosted,” she said.

The director of the Division of Housing and Community Development says the selection process will be slightly different to assure at-risk tenants like Grant get the help they desperately need. Tenants facing an eviction or utility cutoff will receive first priority. A rolling, random selection process is designed to make sure it’s fair.

“We need to live. We need to survive. We need to eat,” said Grant.

This money will help nearly 1,500 households/people a month.

To apply, click here.

RELATED: TN Housing Development Agency taking applications for COVID-19 rent relief

You can also find out about the Tennessee Housing Development Agency program for the rest of the state FOX13 told you about Monday clicking here.