COVID19: GET SUPPORT

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

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.

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. Unlike the State program, which will pay 80% of back rent accrued since April 1st, 2020, 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.

Renters who make less than 80% of AMI, but aren’t covered by the Oakland program, 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. The State will pay 80% of back rent accrued since April 1st, 2020. In exchange, the landlord must forgive the remaining 20%. If a landlord refuses to participate, then the State will pay 25% of back rent to the tenant so that they can pay the landlord directly and qualify for long-term eviction protections. If there’s money remaining, the State may be able to pay a portion of future rent on behalf of the tenant.

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

For owners of affordable housing, email housingassistance@oaklandca.gov ASAP to request a bulk application for your properties. 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. Initially, Fremont will pay 100% of back rent for the renters that are most vulnerable to serious housing insecurity. After that, the City will only be able to provide 80% of back rent, requiring landlords to forgive the remaining 20%. If there’s money remaining, the City may be able to pay a portion of future rent on behalf of the tenant.

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). Initially, Alameda County will pay 100% of back rent for the renters that are most vulnerable to serious housing insecurity. After that, the County will only be able to provide 80% of back rent, requiring landlords to forgive the remaining 20%. If there’s money remaining, the County may be able to pay a portion of future rent on behalf of the tenant.

For owners of affordable housing, visit this link ASAP to request a bulk application for your properties. For an overview and questions, see this presentation and email LaToya Tooles or Margaux Payton.

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. The State will pay 80% of back rent accrued since April 1st, 2020. In exchange, the landlord must forgive the remaining 20%. If a landlord refuses to participate, then the State will pay 25% of back rent to the tenant so that they can pay the landlord directly and qualify for long-term eviction protections. If there’s money remaining, the State may be able to pay a portion of future rent on behalf of the tenant. While tenants who live in affordable housing are eligible for support, the State won’t prioritize relief for affordable housing communities.

JOIN EBHO’S INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR ON RENTAL ASSISTANCE – APRIL 16TH

Join our Rent Relief Info session on April 16th at 12:00 pm. Our Policy Associate, Alex Werth, will present information on the rent relief programs and answer questions.RSVP for this Online Event

Here are four frequently asked questions about pandemic rental assistance:

  1. First, 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.)
  2. I’m a tenant. Am I eligible for rental assistance? In general, aid is limited to households that make less than 80% of area median income (AMI)–regardless of immigration status–and have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19. However, in most cases, aid will be targeted to households that make less than 50% or 30% of AMI or live in affordable housing. (Not sure if you fall into these income categories? Check out the top chart.) In order to learn more about the requirements and priorities of your community, find the city or county where you live below.
  3. Does my landlord need to agree? Yes, in most cases, your landlord needs to agree to the terms of the rental assistance program in order for you to receive 100% debt forgiveness. But if your landlord refuses, then they may not be able to sue you for the full debt in court. In addition, you’re still entitled to payment equal to 25% of your overall rental debt, which you can then use to cover the portion of your rent needed to receive long-term eviction protections.
  4. Will I need to provide documentation? Yes, you’ll need to try to provide evidence that you meet the income criteria and have suffered an economic hardship. When you apply, there are non-profit organizations available to help you do so. However, if you’re unable to provide such evidence, then you can likely sign a document that self-certifies that you qualify for aid. If you live in affordable housing, then your landlord can likely assist you in providing documentation.

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.

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

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.

image of a flyer.East Oakland residents can pick up a produce box, family meal, and supplies from Black Cultural Zone every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4-6pm. 6955 Foothill Bulevard near 73rd Ave. Email info@blackculturalzone.org with questions.
East Oakland residents can pick up a produce box, family meal, and supplies from Black Cultural Zone every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4-6pm. 6955 Foothill Boulevard near 73rd Ave. Email info@blackculturalzone.org with questions.

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.