Rent Relief Now Available to Low-Income Tenants and Housing Providers

Two woman holding signs in front of Carol's house

Help is here! After a year of organizing to fill the financial hole created by COVID-19 among low-income renters and housing providers, $171 million in rental assistance is now available in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties (with more on the way, thanks to the American Rescue Plan)! Since the start of the pandemic, EBHO has insisted that no one who’s suffered due to COVID-19 should lose their home or end up with a mountain of rental debt. And we’ve called upon our leaders to prioritize assistance for tenants and owners of affordable housing so that our communities don’t lose this precious resource to speculative investors, who’ve caused so much housing insecurity for low-income residents and communities of color in the first place.

Thank you for standing with us! We couldn’t have done it without our members and supporters. Now, we need to work together to get rental assistance to the people who need it most.

As a reminder, state and local eviction protections are still in effect. This means that, if you’ve experienced a financial loss due to COVID-19, you can’t be evicted for non-payment of rent since the start of the pandemic, so long as you meet certain requirements. (See more detail on these protections and requirements here.) The information in this page is about how to apply for financial assistance to help address that rental debt. (In some instances, the assistance can also be used to pay for utility debt and/or future rent and utility payments.)

Note: You won’t be asked about your immigration status in any way, and information won’t be shared with immigration authorities.

Rental Assistance

HOW TO APPLY FOR RENTAL ASSISTANCE:

Please note, the cities of Oakland and Fremont are operating their own rent relief programs to distribute state and federal rent relief funds. If you do not live in either of those cities, you should click on the information for your county (Contra Costa or Alameda County).

OAKLAND

Apply Online or Call 510-899-9289, 510-860-4985, or 510-452-4541.

Oakland will prioritize relief for renters who make less than 30% of AMI (Area Median Income) and/or are at heightened risk of homelessness. It will also target communities with high rates of COVID-19 infection and households with children, seniors, or people with disabilities. Oakland will pay 100% of back rent for the renters that are most vulnerable to severe housing insecurity (up to $15,000). The City will also pay 100% of the back rent owed by eligible tenants who live in affordable housing or units owned by small landlords (1-5 units). If there’s money remaining, the City may be able to pay a portion of future rent on behalf of the tenant.

NOTE: In May, Oakland temporarily stopped accepting new applications due to a lack of funds. It will reopen later this summer. In the meantime, all low-income tenants and affordable housing providers can apply to the State program. The State will prioritize renters who make less than 50% of AMI or live in areas hit hard by COVID-19. NOTE: With the passage of AB 832, the State has improved its program, making it similar to Oakland’s. The State will now pay 100% of back rent accrued since April 1st, 2020, and 100% of future rent, as needed, up to 18 months total. If landlords refuse to cooperate with the program, then tenants can receive 100% of the assistance they need from the State to pay their landlord directly. If your application was already processed and paid before AB 832, then you should automatically receive increased payment from the State.

Click here for more information on housing assistance for low-income households in Oakland.

For owners of affordable housing, email housingassistance@oaklandca.gov to check on the status of your application. For questions, email Maryann Leshin.

FREMONT

Apply Online or Call 510-574-2028

Fremont will provide relief for renters who make less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), but will prioritize those who make less than 50% of AMI, pay over 50% of their income in rent, and/or have been unemployed for over 90 days at the time of application. It will also prioritize tenants who live in affordable housing. The passage of AB 832 should ensure that low-income tenants and affordable housing providers continue to receive 100% of back rent accrued during the pandemic, and 100% of future rent, as needed, up to 18 months total.

For questions related to owners of affordable housing, email Aki Snelling.

ALAMEDA COUNTY

Apply Online or Call 211

Renters who live in Alameda County, but don’t live in Oakland or Fremont, can apply for aid through the County’s program. Alameda County will prioritize relief for renters who make less than 30% of AMI and/or are at heightened risk of homelessness, including due to a history of incarceration. It will also target tenants who live in affordable housing or units owned by small, economically vulnerable landlords (1-5 units). The passage of AB 832 should ensure that low-income tenants and affordable housing providers continue to receive 100% of back rent accrued during the pandemic, and 100% of future rent, as needed, up to 18 months total.

For owners of affordable housing, email LaToya Tooles or Margaux Payton to check on the status of your application.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Apply Online or Call 833-430-2122

Contra Costa County will not run its own rental assistance program. Renters who make less than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) can apply to the State program. The State will prioritize renters who make less than 50% of AMI or live in areas hit hard by COVID-19. NOTE: With the passage of AB 832, the State has improved its program. The State will now pay 100% of back rent accrued since April 1st, 2020, and 100% of future rent, as needed, up to 18 months total. If landlords refuse to cooperate with the program, then tenants can receive 100% of the assistance they need from the State to pay their landlord directly. If your application was already processed and paid before AB 832, then you should automatically receive increased payment from the State. While tenants who live in affordable housing are eligible for support, the State won’t prioritize relief for affordable housing communities.

You can view HousingNow!’s Fact Sheet on Rent Relief Here.

Please email alex@ebho.org with specific questions about Rent Relief policies.

Sign Up for Email Updates to receive information like this in the future.