San Diego County announces new round of COVID-19 relief for eligible renters

The "Guardian of the Water" statue in front of the County Administration Building.
The County of San Diego made $27 million in rent relief available to eligible residents.
(Roger Showley/UT )

Thousands of residents of San Diego County have lost their jobs or seen their work hours cut since the COVID-19 pandemic struck earlier this year.

Now county officials are making some additional relief available to people who have suffered from the economic downturn caused by the persistent public health threat. Applications for the county’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program will be accepted beginning Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The program seeks to prevent people from falling into homelessness as a result of the coronavirus. Eligible property owners and residents could receive up to $3,000 to pay past-due or future housing obligations, the county said.

“Understanding the financial burden for both tenants and landlords, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors allocated $27 million in funding for an emergency rental assistance program to ease that burden for thousands of county residents,” the county said in a statement.

“The county is anticipating awarding over $10 million in assistance to residents that applied during the first round of applications at the beginning of October,” the county added. “For the new round of funding, the county will review applications as they are received and will continue to take applications until funds are depleted.”

Applications will be approved only for renters who can demonstrate that they experienced a financial hardship due directly to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hardship can include a job loss or medical bills related to the pandemic.

Under eligibility rules, a single-person household can earn a maximum of $48,540 in income per year and a four-person home could earn no more than $69,300. County officials said they expect as many as 10,000 households to qualify for funding.

Residents of cities that established their own COVID-19 relief programs will not be eligible for county assistance unless their city has expended the balance of its funding.

Also, current recipients of government housing programs such as Section 8 will not be eligible for additional help.

For an application or additional information about the relief program, visit Applicants will be able to check the status of their applications on the website.

— Jeff McDonald is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune