ICYMI: Applications for 100 Million Dollars of Rental & Utility Assistance Now Being Accepted

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Act Fast to Apply for Portion of Rental Assistance, $100M available in SD County,
San Diego & Chula Vista Residents Have Own Assistance Programs
Visit www.SDHCD.org to apply today!

SAN DIEGO (March 2, 2021) — Chair Nathan Fletcher wants individuals and families struggling financially because of coronavirus to apply for their portion of the $100 million for rent and utilities assistance. The County of San Diego’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program application process opened March 2 and closes the first round on March 16, two weeks from then.

“The emergency rental assistance program will take some of the burden off the shoulders of families trying to make it during this pandemic,” said Chair Fletcher, lead policymaker on the County’s COVID-19 subcommittee. “I am encouraging those who need these funds to act fast and apply as soon as possible. The County staff is ready to receive your application, and provide assistance to those who need it.”

The County of San Diego is one of three jurisdictions who have received federal and state money for people with help paying their rent or utility bills. Visit www.ERAPSanDiego.org to find details about the programs from the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista. Right now, the County is the only jurisdiction with their program operating. People who live in the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista must apply directly to the program being offered by their jurisdiction, which are expected to come online later this month.

The eligibility requirements for the County’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program are as follows:

Primary Prioritizations:
● Household income at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI)
● One or more household members are unemployed as of the date of the application for assistance and have not been employed for the 90 day period before such date (household income must not be above 80% AMI)

Secondary Prioritizations:
● Single-parent households
● Health Equity (using the lowest two quartiles of the Healthy Places Index or HPI to prioritize)-Residents who live in areas that have less access to healthy opportunities. Information about the Healthy Places Index can be found at healthyplaces.org.

Jurisdictions: Unincorporated areas of San Diego and the cities of: Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista

Eligible Income:
● Household income must fall at or below 80% Area Median Income
● Be behind on rent and/or utility payments between April 2020 and March 2021. Types of utilities covered: electricity, gas, water, sewage trash (when not covered with rent)
● Applicants cannot receive any other forms of housing subsidy to be eligible, including Section 8, rapid rehousing assistance or rental assistance from nonprofit agencies.
Renter: Household must have an obligation to pay rent

Financial Hardship:
● Households must have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID-19.
● Households that are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
Landlord Participation:
● If the landlord accepts participation in the program, the County will compensate 80% of an eligible household’s rental arrears accumulated from April 2020 to March 2021. The landlord must agree to accept the 80% payment as payment in full of the rental debt owed by the tenant, which means the landlord forgives the remaining debt. The rental arrears will be paid directly to the landlord.
● The landlord does not have to participate in the program. If the landlord declines participation in the program, the County can compensate 25% of the eligible household’s monthly rental arrears accumulated from April 2020 to March 2021. In this situation, payment of rental arrears can be paid directly to the tenant.

To apply for the County’s program visit www.sdhcd.org or for those without Internet access and need help completing their applications, please call 858-694-4801.

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