Lower-income Atlanta residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for rent and utility payment assistance through a $22 million fund from the city and the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

The Atlanta COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, announced Aug. 20, applies to households that made 60% or less of the area median income prior to March 1. As examples, that means income of $34,740 a year for a single person and $49,620 a year for a four-person household.

The assistance can be used for rent, utility payments and security deposits, up to a maximum of $3,000. Those applying for the money will have to provide documentation about their identity, their income, their loss of income caused by the pandemic, and the amount needed based on past-due bills.

The city in a press release estimated that more than 6,700 Atlanta resident could be assisted by the program.

“Access to safe, affordable and livable housing is one of our administration’s top priorities,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in the release. “Beyond the pressing challenges of COVID-19, we aim to ensure that every resident who wants to live in Atlanta is able to do so with dignity.”

Milton J. Little Jr., the United Way’s president and CEO, said in the release that up to 16,000 Atlanta households make under $50,000 a year and are in occupations that at high risk of pandemic layoffs.

For the application and more information, see the application website at relief.uwga.org or call 211 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.