Santa Barbara County Accepting Applications for Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Residents Can Apply to Pay Debts on Rent or Utilities Dating Back to March 2020

Credit: Eugeniu Frimu

With California’s eviction ban expiring September 30, Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which is being handled through United Way of Santa Barbara County, is now accepting applications for residents to receive relief for debt accrued through the pandemic.

According to a statement from the county, the program is open to county households with an annual income “at or below 80 percent” of the area median income, which for Santa Barbara residents would be those who make below roughly $60,000 a year, those who have experienced a loss of income due to or during the COVID-19 pandemic, or those who are at risk of homelessness or housing instability. 

Qualified applicants can receive relief for unpaid rent or utility debt dating back to March 2020.

To apply, visit Those who have already applied to United Way can call (805) 965-8591 to check the status of landlord or tenant applications. 

The earlier California Emergency Rental Assistance application portal — not administered by United Way — is now closed to new applications, though previously submitted applications will continue to be processed. 

Tenants or landlords who need to confirm the status of an application with the earlier state program should call (833) 430-2122 or visit


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