COVID19: GET SUPPORT

Get Support: Rental Assistance | Food Assistance |Housing Legal Assistance | Apply for State Support Programs | Undocumented Relief Funds | COVID Test Sites

Rental Assistance

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 email 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.)

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.

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.

See our COVID19 Policy Page to review city-by-city information regarding eviction moratoriums and rent relief.

The HousingNow! Coalition created this fact 2-page sheet on the current Rent Relief process: View the Fact Sheet

For people looking to apply for an affordable home in the Bay Area, see our Steps to Find Affordable Housing page.

The organizations below provide legal assistance and know-your-rights information for tenants if you are served an eviction or have challenges with landlord repairs or other violations of their lease agreement.

Tenants Together has a hotline for tenant questions

East Bay Community Law Center provides legal support for low-income tenants facing eviction. 

Centro Legal provides legal assistance for tenants and immigrants in the East Bay.

If you are a tenant, homeowner, or landlord with legal questions about housing, the Contra Costa Housing Services Collaborative provides counseling services to Contra Costa County residents.

Click here for a list of tenant resources in San Francisco,  the East Bay, and Statewide

Our partner Monument Impact has put together a thorough list of resources for tenants in Contra Costa County, including a list of organizations that provide emergency rental assistance (see the bottom of p. 5).

Undocumented Relief Funding

Oakland Undocumented Relief Fund: Centro Legal de la Raza, along with community partners, created the Oakland Undocumented Relief Fund to provide critical support to immigrant Oakland workers who have lost their jobs and income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the agressive public health measures necessary to combat the spread of this disease. While many Oaklanders can turn to existing safety net programs, including unemployment insurance, public benefits, and new federal and local relief efforts –  undocumented workers are largely excluded from those programs. Apply to the fund here.

State of CA Undocumented Relief Funding: The State of California will provide one-time disaster relief assistance to adult undocumented immigrants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is only for adults who are ineligible for other forms of federal unemployment or pandemic related assistance, such as the CARES act or unemployment benefits. Applicants must apply with the nonprofit organization assigned to the county where you live. Catholic Charities East Bay is the assigned organization to release funds for residents of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

The first step is to call 415-324-1011. Applicants must provide information and documents to verify identity, proof of address, and to show have they been impacted by COVID-19.  More information is available after calling the toll-free number. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 per household. Assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Please note that disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed.

An ongoing resource list for undocumented people during COVID19 can be found here.

EMERGENCY HOUSING NEEDS:

Apply for Subsidized Affordable Housing

Click the button below to view openings for subsidized affordable apartment homes. Note that this process will take many months to a year to move from a waitlist if eligible. For emergency financial assistance to cover existing rent and utilities, see the section on Rental Assistance below.

For Non Profits to provide Emergency Housing Funds

Opportunities for Non Profit organizations to apply to distribute emergency rent funds to their communities:

East Bay Community Foundation Just East Bay Fund

San Francisco Foundation Fund

Non-Housing Support Resources

California Poor People’s Campaign resource location tool: https://getcovidresources.org/

COVID19 Vaccination Information: https://covid-19.acgov.org/index.page

COVID19 Testing Sites

CA NOTIFY: The State of California has partnered with Google to create an exposure notification system that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Click here to read more information about this tool and how to set it up on your mobile device.

East Oakland: Walk-up testing site in East Oakland run by Roots Clinic – more information here

Hayward: Find information on the Hayward test site here.

Food Assistance

Apply for CalFresh: See if you qualify for ongoing food assistance from the State of California through CalFresh.

Alameda County Seniors (60+)Meal Delivery to your home: For eligable seniors living in cities Alameda County Cities besides Oakland: https://acgreatplates.acgov.org/

Meal Delivery for Seniors (60+) living in Oakland: Click Here.

Oakland Direct Food Distribution: Oakland has created a one-stop shop for information on food distribution at locations through the city. It includes resources that are specific to elders, families, and residents of affordable housing. Click here to view the page.

Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits. These food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT benefits. P-EBT benefits help families in California buy food when schools are closed because of the coronavirus emergency.

  • Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries.
  • Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. Most will get their P-EBT card in the mail during the month of May. P-EBT cards will begin arriving around May 12, 2020.
  • Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail by about May 22, 2020 must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application will be available beginning May 22, 2020 at ca.p-ebt.org. For more information visit https://www.cdss.ca.gov/home/pandemic-ebt

Alameda County

Get emergency food assistance from the Alameda County Food Bank by calling 1-800-870-FOOD (3663).

City of Alameda: Alameda Food Bank

Contra Costa County

Our partner Monument Impact has put together a thorough list of resources for tenants in Contra Costa County, including a list of organizations that provide emergency rental assistance (see the bottom of p. 5).

Contra Costa & Solano County Food Bank.

White Pony Express (Contra Costa County/Plesant Hill) call the Hotline at: 925-322-0604

Monument Crisis Center.

COVID-19 Black

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its hugely disproportionate impact on the Black community, Unity Care has partnered with the Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet to launch a new initiative, COVID-19 BLACK.

This Bay Area Community Health Initiative will increase awareness and education about COVID-19 and work to protect and improve health and well-being in the Black community. This urgent initiative is consistent with Unity Care’s long-standing focus on educating and training system partners to engage with communities of color more effectively.

The acclaimed Transcultural Engagement Model enables us to develop trusting relationships that are critical to working with communities of color. In mid-July the Bay Area Community Health Initiative launched COVID-19 BLACK, which provides a platform for members of the African ancestry community to shape a narrative of their own experiences and leverages the community’s strengths to take a stand against COVID-19. Check out the COVID-19 BLACK website, https://covid19black.org/.

California:

A Guide on how to apply for unemployment assistance if you are self-employed (including street vendors) from Street Spirit News.

Food Apply for CalFresh: See if you qualify for ongoing food assistance from the State of California through CalFresh, formerly SNAP or what some people call ‘food stamps.’

CA Undocumented Resident Relief Funds

Relief funds for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are distributed by Catholic Charities East Bay. Click here to contact the program.

  • The State of California will provide one-time disaster relief assistance to adult undocumented immigrants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This is only for adults who are ineligible for other forms of federal unemployment or pandemic related assistance, such as the CARES act or unemployment benefits.
  • Applicants must apply with the nonprofit organization assigned to the county where you live.
    • Catholic Charities East Bay is the assigned organization for residents of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
  • The first step is to call the number. Then, applicants must provide information and documents to verify identity, proof of address, and to show have they been impacted by COVID-19. 
  • An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 per household.
  • Assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Please note that disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed.

Apply for Expanded Unemployment Benefits:

The Federal stimulus bill has expanded who can get unemployment benefits and how much you can receive.  Self-employed individuals, freelancers, independent contractors, and gig workers (such as Uber/Lyft drivers) are now eligible for benefits during the crisis.  People on unemployment will also receive an extra $600 per week, in addition to regular unemployment benefits. Eligibility for basic unemployment is extended for an additional 13 weeks (for a total of 39 weeks); the extra $600/week is for up to 4 months.

The best way to apply or get more information is online at the Employment Development Department’s (EDD) UI Online site.   www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI_Online.htm 

Note that there may be a delay while EDD updates their systems to handle the new eligibility rules.

Disability Insurance if You Are Sick or Quarantined:

If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

Telehealth and virtual appointments are acceptable for a physical examination, but medical certifications are still required.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Paid Family Leave for Caregiving:

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Medi-Cal/CalWORKs recipients: Gov. Newsom waived the 90-day annual redetermination reviews for Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal and CalWORKs. So, if you are currently enrolled in Medi-Cal or CalWORKs, rest assured your benefits will continue through June 16. If your Medi-Cal benefits were already terminated, you have to reapply.

New Medi-Cal applicants: The state has expedited Medi-Cal for new applicants, waiving certain paperwork requirements including citizenship docs. Homeless individuals just need to state on application that they are homeless and will be expedited. All applications can be done through the Covered California website.

Covid-19 Guide for Immigrant Californians:

imgae of many people standing together. This is the front cover of the COVID-19 for Immigrant Californians guide.
Flyer for the COVID-19 Guide for Immigrant Californians

Read the Immigrant Guide inEnglish, SpanishChinese traditionalChinese simplifiedKoreanTagalog, and Vietnamese.

Get More Information

For information on current housing policies, including eviction moratoriums, see our COVID19 Housing Policy page. Visit our COVID19 Action page to see how you can help shape city, state, and federal policy response to the pandemic and its impact on our communities.

You can see a full list of housing support services in the East Bay, including how and where to apply for permanent affordable housing, in our Affordable Housing Resource Guide in English, Spanish, and Chinese. To understand more about how Affordable Housing works, see our Affordable Housing Guidebook.