San Diego County Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides funding for renters in need

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Low-income renters throughout the San Diego region who have experienced COVID-19-related loss of income will be able to apply for additional rental and utility assistance grants.

San Diego County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, funded by more than $100 million in state and federal monies, is intended to help lessen housing cost burdens and maintain housing stability.

The program will primarily aid eligible people who are behind on rent and/or utility payments, covering the period from April 2020 to March 2021. Utilities include costs such as electricity, gas, water and sewer, trash and other energy costs not included in the rent.

The amount of rental arrears covered will depend on whether the landlord agrees to participate in the program. Landlords owed back rent can also apply on behalf of their tenants.

To be eligible, households must be renting and have experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID-19, or have qualified for unemployment during the pandemic. Eligible hardships include a reduction in household income, incurring significant costs or experiencing other financial hardships.

Households must also earn no more than 80% area median income to qualify — for example, a single-person household can earn up to $67,900 and a four-person household can earn up to $97,000 — and must be either at risk of homelessness or facing housing instability.

The county will review applications based on federal, state and county prioritization categories. Those who apply will be able to check their application status online at any point in the process.

Housing and Community Development Services Director David Estrella joined Good Morning San Diego to discuss the program.

For more information, including how to apply for the county’s program and detailed eligibility criteria, visit If you don’t have Internet or access to a computer, you can get help completing an application on or after Monday by calling 858-694-4801.

Categories: Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News