(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Given the long-term nature of the pandemic and its devastating economic impacts, the County of Santa Barbara and United Way of Santa Barbara County are offering the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program to provide limited rental assistance grants to eligible residents in unincorporated areas of the county who have experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic and can demonstrate the need for rental support.
“The pandemic has highlighted the precarious financial situation and extreme stress many county residents are experiencing,” said Steve Ortiz, President & CEO of United Way. “Every day we hear from local individuals who have lost work and cannot afford rent, food, medicine, or other necessary bills due to the current health crisis. Thanks to our partnership with the County of Santa Barbara, many of these individuals can now meet these basic needs.”
For information, household size and income limits, and to apply, go to www.unitedwaysb.org/rental-assistance. Eligible applicants must have:
- Experienced a loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19
- Household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income, for example $66,750 for a household of one or $95,300 for household of four
- Applicants must reside in unincorporated areas of the county including, but not limited to, Burton Mesa, Casmalia, Cuyama, Eastern Goleta Valley, Gaviota, Isla Vista, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Ynez, Summerland, and Vandenberg Village
The program provides the lesser of actual monthly rent or $1,000 per month for up to three months, or a maximum of $3,000 per household. Landlords are encouraged to make payment arrangements with tenants for unpaid rent.
Required documentation includes proof of loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19, such as an employer letter, employer address, date of furlough/ layoff/termination, and signed declaration under penalty of perjury and repayment of funds.
Officials estimate that the program may assist 600 households. The program will be available until all funds are expended or November 30, 2020, whichever is first. Residents unsure if they live in an unincorporated area can refer to a map located at https://hmiscenter.com/city-boundaries/.