COVID-19 ERAP SDHC Logo

For information about the County of San Diego COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, visit www.sdhcd.org

City of San Diego COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The application period is now closed for the City of San Diego’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Applications were accepted from July 20, 2020, through August 7, 2020.

If you submitted an application, you may log in to the online application portal to check the status of your application.

For the best user experience, please use the Chrome or Safari web browsers.

Landlords, for questions please refer to the Landlord Guide.

The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program helps families with low income in the City of San Diego who experience financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The program will provide one-time payments of up to $4,000 per qualifying household to help pay past-due and/or upcoming rent.

Payment will be made directly to the household’s landlord.

To be eligible for the program, households must meet the following criteria:

All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will have the opportunity to be selected to receive assistance.

Priority will be given to:

Applications will be sorted and assigned numbers at random to identify the applicants who will receive help to pay their rent.

San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) staff will coordinate with selected applicants and their landlord or property management company to disburse payments. All payments will be made electronically.

SDHC administers this program on behalf of the City of San Diego.

To check the status of your application, please log in to the application portal.

For more information, call (619) 535-6921

Help With Your Application – Community-Based Organizations

SDHC is working with several community-based organizations to help renters complete and submit their applications, including renters without internet access.

For information about this program, please contact 2-1-1 or call (619) 535-6921.

For help with your application, please contact one of the following organizations:

These CBOs are among more than 60 to which SDHC reached out to ask for help to raise awareness about this program and potentially help households complete their applications. All of the CBOs SDHC contacted are mission-driven, serving diverse populations throughout the City of San Diego.

SDHC thanks all of the CBOs partnering with us and helping to share information about the program with families struggling financially due to COVID-19.

Informational Flyers

COVID-19 Emergency RAP Flyer – English

COVID-19 Emergency RAP Flyer – Spanish

Applicant Demographic Data

Data Dashboard

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When can I apply for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program?
A: Online applications will be accepted from July 20, 2020, through August 7, 2020.
Q: How do I apply?
A: The application will be available online at covidapplication.sdhc.org and through the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) website at www.sdhc.org.
Q: I do not have internet access. How can I submit an application?
A: SDHC is working with several community-based organizations to help renters complete and submit their applications, including renters without internet access. Call (619) 535-6921 for more information. The list of community organizations is also available on SDHC’s website. Visit www.sdhc.org and under “Let’s Get You There,” select “COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance.”
Q: What internet browser should I use to submit my application
A: Updated web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari, are recommended.
Q: Do I need an email address to apply? What if I do not have an email address?
A: Yes, an email address is required to apply for this program.

If you do not have a valid email address, you will need to create one to complete the application. The following are popular, free email providers:

There are also community-based organizations who can help you create an email address, complete and submit your application. Please refer to the question above for a list of community-based organizations that are available to help you.

Q: Can I use a mobile device to access my application?
A: Yes. After logging in from your mobile device, you can select your name in the table under the “Applicant Name” heading to continue your application or check the status of your application.
Q: What should I do if I cannot log in after registering?
A: You must confirm your registered email address before you log in and complete your application. Please check your email, and click on the link in the registration email message you received to confirm your registered email address.

If you cannot find the registration email that was sent to you, please check your junk or spam folder. If you still cannot find the registration email, click the “Resend Email Confirmation” link on the login page.

If you successfully confirmed your email address, but still cannot log in, select the “Forgot your password?” link on the login page. Afterward, check your email and click on the link in the email message sent to you to open the webpage so you can create your new password to log in.

Q: What should I do if I have issues submitting my application?
A: Confirm that you are completing your application in a recommended internet browser (Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari). Look for error messages informing you of missing information and make sure you are following these requirements when you upload all required documents:

  • Each document must be no larger than 10 megabytes (MB) in size.
  • Allowed valid file formats end in file extensions consisting of .PDF, .JPG, .PNG, and .JPEG.

Community-based organizations also can help you submit your application. For a list of organizations available to help you, please see the question above about how to apply without internet access.

Q: What should I do if I want to change my submitted application?
A: You can log in from July 20, 2020, through August 7, 2020, and select the “Modify” button in the table under the “Action” heading to open your application. You can proceed to make changes and submit your updated application.
Q: What is the purpose of the program?
A: The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program helps individuals and families with low income in the City of San Diego who experience financial hardship due to COVID-19 to pay their past-due or upcoming rent.
Q: How do I know if I qualify for the program?
A: To be eligible for the program, households must meet the following criteria:

  • The household has a City of San Diego address.
  • Household income in January 2020 was at or below 60 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income ($64,200 per year or less for a family of four).
  • The household is NOT currently receiving any rental subsidies.
  • The household is NOT currently a tenant of a property owned or managed by the San Diego Housing Commission.
  • The household does NOT have savings to meet their financial need.
  • The household has eligible immigration status (U.S. citizen/U.S. National, lawful permanent resident/conditional permanent resident, a refugee/person seeking asylum or granted asylum).
  • The household experienced hardship directly related to COVID-19.
Q: Does the program include all cities in the County of San Diego?
A: No. An address with a ZIP Code in the City of San Diego is required for this program.
Q: What are the income requirements for the program?
A: The household’s income in January 2020 must be no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income for the City of San Diego.

Compare your household size with the table below. Your household’s income in January 2020 must be no more than the maximum annual household income listed below. For example, if the household has four people, your household’s annual gross income as of January 2020 must be $64,200 or less to qualify for the program.

60% of San Diego Area Median Income – 2019
Persons in Household 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Maximum Annual Household Income $44,940 $51,360 $57,780 $64,200 $69,360 $74,520 $79,620 $84,780
Q: What is a hardship that is directly related to COVID-19?
A: Examples of COVID-19-related hardships include:

  • Loss of income due to reduction of paid work hours due to COVID-19 (examples: laid off, loss of hours, income reduction, etc.);
  • Loss of income due to sickness with COVID-19 or caring for a household/family member who is/was sick with COVID-19;
  • Loss of income due to compliance with a recommendation from a government health authority to stay home, self-quarantine, or avoid congregating with others during the state of emergency;
  • Loss of income due to other factors resulting from the COVID-19 emergency;
  • Increase in medical expenses incurred as a direct result of COVID-19.
Q: Do I have to submit documentation with my application?
A: Yes, to apply, tenants need to have their landlord’s name, mailing address and phone number.

Applicants are also required to upload and submit the following supporting documents as part of their online application:

  • Photo identification for the applicant (legal driver’s license, state ID, or US Passport);
  • Most recent lease agreement;
  • Current utility bill;
  • Documentation of all sources of household income in the household as of January 2020 (pay stubs, 2019 tax returns, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Cal-Works, child support, workers compensation, state disability, unemployment benefits, self-employment income, other);
  • Documentation verifying loss of income or increase in medical expenses due to COVID-19 (dated on or after March 1, 2020).
Q: Am I eligible for the program if I already receive a rental subsidy?
A: No, households that currently receive rental subsidies are not eligible to receive rental assistance through this program. Rental subsidies include federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher assistance, rapid rehousing assistance, or rental assistance from nonprofit agencies. Applicants who reside in SDHC-owned rental housing units also are not eligible for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

However, applicants who reside in all other affordable housing units would be eligible for this program and, if selected, would receive a maximum of $2,000 in rental assistance because their rent amount is already reduced.

Q: How will applications be selected?
A: All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will have the opportunity to be selected to receive assistance. To disburse funds fairly and assist households who are most in need, a prioritization system and random-selection process will be used to select the applicants who will receive a rental assistance payment.
Q: Which applications will be given priority?
A: Priority will be given to families with minor children and households where at least one member is age 62 or older.
Q: How much rent relief can I receive?
A: The program will provide a one-time payment of up to $4,000 per qualifying household to help pay past-due and/or upcoming rent. Applicants who reside in housing units where the rent is restricted to be affordable would receive a maximum of $2,000 in rental assistance because their rent amount is already reduced.
Q: How often can I apply?
A: You can only apply once. This is a one-time benefit to assist low-income renters in the City of San Diego who experience financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Q: Will the rental assistance money be paid directly to me?
A: No, the funds will be paid directly to your landlord or property management company through direct deposit to be credited to your account.
Q: Should I tell my landlord that I am applying?
A: Yes, communication between renters and landlords is important to help make the payment quickly if the renter is approved to receive rental assistance. You will also need to provide your landlord’s phone number and mailing address in your application.
Q: What are the requirements for my landlord?
A: Your landlord is required to register on the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program portal, provide information from IRS Form W-9 to verify unit ownership, and authorize a direct deposit to receive the funds.
Q: How will my landlord be contacted?
A: When you complete your application online you will need to provide contact information for your landlord. Your landlord’s email address is preferred. A secondary option is your landlord’s telephone number. Please be proactive and contact your landlord, tell them about the program, ask for their email address, and let them know that is how they will be contacted if your application is approved.
Q: What if I do not know my landlord’s email address?
A: You can leave the landlord’s email address field blank and submit the application without your landlord’s email address. However, we encourage you to be proactive and contact your landlord, tell them about the program, ask for their email address, and let them know they will be contacted if your application is approved. The landlord’s email address will help expedite their verification and payment information if your application is selected.
Q: What if my landlord refuses to participate or does not accept the funds?
A: Your landlord cannot be forced to participate in the program or to accept funds. SDHC cannot provide this payment to the landlord unless they submit the necessary forms. If a landlord declines to accept the funds, the tenant’s application will be denied.

However, SDHC has partnerships with organizations that can assist tenants and landlords if any landlord/tenant issues or disputes arise in an effort to keep renters housed. Services will include education regarding applicable landlord/tenant law and conciliation and mediation services.

Q: What do I do if my landlord wants to evict me?
A: On June 30, 2020, the San Diego City Council extended its citywide temporary ban (moratorium) on residential evictions through September 30, 2020. The temporary eviction ban means that landlords cannot take action to evict a tenant for not paying rent that was due on or after March 12, 2020, if the tenant is not able to pay because of the financial effects of COVID-19.

SDHC has partnerships with organizations that can assist tenants and landlords if any landlord/tenant issues or disputes arise in an effort to keep renters housed. Services will include education regarding applicable landlord/tenant law and conciliation and mediation services.

Q: When will I hear about the status of my application?
A: The decision whether an application is approved or denied will be sent beginning mid-August through October. You may also check the status of your application throughout the process by logging into the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Application portal.
Q: When will payments be made?
A: Payments will be made starting in mid-September, through October and into November 2020.
Q: What if the amount of rental assistance received does not cover the total amount of rent owed?
A: If you still owe outstanding rent to your landlord, you are encouraged to enter into a repayment agreement with your landlord for any past-due rent that exceeds your rent assistance payment. SDHC has partnerships with organizations that can assist tenants and landlords if any landlord/tenant issues or disputes arise in an effort to keep renters housed. Services will include education regarding applicable landlord/tenant law and conciliation and mediation services that can assist with developing a repayment agreement between the tenant and the landlord.
Q: How do I make a donation to support this program?
A: To make a tax-deductible donation to support this program, please visit https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/covid-19-emergency-rental-assistance-program

If you have questions about making a donation, please email [email protected]

Donations are made to SDHC Building Opportunities Inc., SDHC’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate.

Private donations supplement the federal funding allocated to this program so more families and individuals can receive the help they need as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Restrictions on the use of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds do not apply to private donations that support this program.

Q: My application was declined. What other resources are available?
A: The National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) has a community mediation program that provides mediation services to landlords/tenants. For cases where the damage is below $10,000 the mediation service is free. A fee may apply for certain cases. Please call (619) 398-0494 for more information.

In addition, on August 31, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law an extension of the statewide temporary ban on evictions due to a COVID-19-related hardship. Under the legislation, tenants cannot be evicted until February 1, 2021, because of rent owed due to a COVID-19 hardship, if the hardship occurred between March 4, 2020, and August 31, 2020. The tenant is required to provide a declaration of hardship within timelines specified in the legislation. If a COVID-19 hardship occurs between September 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, tenants are required to pay at least 25 percent of the rent due to avoid eviction. Tenants are still required to pay the unpaid amounts due to landlords, but the unpaid rent cannot be the basis for an eviction. For more information: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/08/31/governor-newsom-signs-statewide-covid-19-tenant-and-landlord-protection-legislation/

 

Donate to Support the Program

As low-income individuals and families struggle financially because of COVID-19, you can help provide them with a sense of stability in the most important place for them during this pandemic—their home.

Your tax-deductible donation will help these households pay their rent through the City of San Diego’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

Donations are made to SDHC Building Opportunities Inc., SDHC’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate.

Private donations supplement the federal funding allocated to this program so more families and individuals can receive the help they need as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Restrictions on the use of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds do not apply to private donations that support this program.

If you have questions about donations to support this program, please email [email protected]