County officials are throwing a $100 million lifeline to renters affected by the year-long pandemic.
On Tuesday, San Diego County officials said they would be launching a new program to help those having trouble making ends meet.
"We want to make sure this public health crisis does not leave San Diegans in debt or without a home," said County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer in a news release issued Tuesday evening. "If you are having trouble paying rent or utilities, we are here to help."
The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is designed to help out people who have fallen behind paying their utilities and rent, officials said.
"The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today moved forward to operationalize $52.2 million in state of California funds for emergency rental assistance as part of the COVID-19 update," Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher's office posted on the county website on Feb. 9. "This latest round of funds is in addition to the $48.8 million in federal funds the board approved receipt of during their Jan. 26 meeting."
All county residents affected by the pandemic may be eligible with the exceptions of those living in San Diego and Chula Vista, which have programs designed specifically for those city residents.
People applying to ERAP must be able to satisfy the following requirements:
- Household must have experienced a financial hardship directly related to COVID-19
- Household is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
- Household must not receive any other forms of rental subsidy, such as Section 8 or other rental assistance programs, rapid rehousing assistance, or rental assistance from nonprofit agencies
- Household income must be at or below 80% of the area median income
People who want to apply for county ERAP funds should go here -- and can check back on the application portal for status updates. Other applicants who don't have Internet access or need help applying can also call (858) 694-4801.