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Who is eligible for rental assistance?

  • Marin County Resident
  • At risk of homelessness due to COVID-19 related income loss
  • Priority for households with income of 30% or less of AMI (Note: Marin is included in San Francisco’s Metro Area) - $52,000 for a family of four; other household size income limits at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2020/2020summary.odn
  • Program is open to all persons, regardless of immigration and citizenship status. Note: The public charge rule does not apply to receiving the assistance.

How do I apply?

  • Please call the COVID-19 Information Line is 415-473-7191 (CA Relay Service Dial 711) and leave a message with your name and contact information. Phone calls will be answered Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m – Noon and 1 p.m – 5 p.m. Because of high call volume, some calls may be sent to voicemail; please leave a message with as much detailed information as possible, as messages are being returned within one business day. You can also email your request to COVID-19@marincounty.org.
  • Please note that because the volume of requests is so high, it may take a couple of weeks for a provider to contact you regarding your request.
  • All intakes and interviews are being conducted primarily via phone and email; in-person or hard-copy assistance is available under some circumstances.

What documentation do I or my family need to provide for eligibility?

  • We will not ask for your Social Security Number; please be wary of possible scam calls requesting Social Security Numbers.
  • Documentation of loss of income due to COVID-19 (including pay stubs, letter from employer, or other documentation)
  • Documentation of income
  • Community-based partner agencies, who are working the County to administer the program, will work with applicants to ensure that people without access to traditional methods of documentation (e.g. pay stubs or bank statements) are not excluded from the program.

How are applications being processed?

  • Five partner agencies (listed further down in the document) are processing requests from a single list; calling multiple times may delay a response. Because of the high volume of requests received, staff is currently processing requests received in March and April. Applications are being processed on a first-come, first-come basis.
  • Currently funds are only available for April and May rent. If you are seeking June assistance, you may call the COVID-19 Information line (415-473-7191, CA Relay service Dial 711) to be put on a waitlist; those requests may be granted if additional funding becomes available.

Are many applications getting accepted? Is there enough money for everyone who needs help?

  • The majority of applications that have been reviewed have been deemed eligible for assistance. We anticipate the current funding will not be sufficient to meet demand.
  • As a county, we continue to advocate for additional funds to support our community’s most vulnerable residents. As requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, please request assistance as soon as possible.
  • If you are able in a position to help, donations of any size may be made to the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) COVID-19 Fund.

I called a few weeks ago and haven’t heard back. Should I apply again?

  • Because of the overwhelming volume, it may take a couple of weeks to be contacted. If you have already applied, your name is on the list being processed, and there is no need to call back. Frequent follow-up calls use valuable staff time and may delay assistance.

Can I be evicted if I can’t pay my rent on time? Does the eviction moratorium apply to me?

  • The County has temporarily (until May 31) banned evictions for non-payment of rent for people who have lost income due to COVID-19. The moratorium allows tenants 90 days from the end of the moratorium (May 31) to pay back rent
  • The moratorium applies to all tenants regardless of immigration and citizenship status.
  • The moratorium applies to all landlord/tenant arrangements, including those without formal written leases.

My landlord is threatening to evict me or charge late fees on top of my unpaid rent. What should I do?

  • Your landlord CANNOT:
    • Charge late fees for April and May rent if you have properly notified them and provided proof.
    • Demand that you pay partial rent during the crisis or that you borrow money to pay your rent.
    • Give you an eviction notice for nonpayment of rent if you have notified them and provided proof.
    • Lock you out of your home. Please call the police immediately if this happens
  • If any of the above or any other kind of threat or harassment occurs, contact Legal Aid of Marin immediately at 415.492.0230. Note that call backs may take up to two weeks due to high number of calls.
  • Visit Legal Aid of Marin and the County’s page on the moratorium, which also provide FAQs on the process, how to make sure to comply, and protect your rights.

How is the County ensuring that the Rental Assistance Program is operating fairly?

  • The partner agencies and the Emergency Operations Center are working with the County Equity Officer to ensure that assistance is being distributed equitably. All geographic regions are receiving outreach targeted to the needs of each particular community.
  • The program was designed to be inclusive of the immigrant community and people with non-traditional employment; the program is balancing the need for documentation with the need to reduce barriers to assistance.
  •  All partner agencies have Spanish-speaking staff available to conduct rental assistance intakes.

How high has the need been for rental assistance?

  • The need for rental assistance due to loss of income from COVID-19 has been absolutely overwhelming. In the first week of the program, agencies administering the funds received an estimated 1,500 requests for rental assistance totaling approximately $2.4 million of requests (includes duplicated requests as many people called multiple agencies seeking assistance).
  • As of May 1, the call center has received estimated $1.4 million of requests.
  • The main COVID call center from April 1 to May 1 has received 1,419 calls regarding rental assistance. 90% of calls with Spanish-speaking residents are also regarding rental assistance.

How is the Rental Assistance Program funded and administered?

  • Marin County Health and Human Services (HHS) launched an Emergency Rental Assistance Program on March 31. This program, a $1,650,000 partnership between Marin County and Marin Community Foundation (MCF), is for people who are at risk of homelessness due to a loss of income from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ·The program is administered by five community-based partner agencies and is overseen by the Emergency Operations Center.

Are there any other rental assistance programs available?

  • The state of California has also created the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) project which provides one-time, state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance due to their immigration status.
  • The assistance will help immigrants and their families who have experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 with food, shelter, medical and childcare, and other basic expenses. Marin Catholic Charities is managing applications for Marin residents. For information on how to apply and other frequently asked questions visit their website.
  • Interested applicants must contact the organization for their county directly to inquire about assistance availability by calling the toll-free number, 415-324-1011 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis.