CA Rental Assistance Applications Open for Tenants and Housing Providers

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief




Santa Clara County tenants and landlords, please note the following updates to the rent relief program:

  • The Santa Clara County local rent relief program is live! The program is targeted towards  Extremely Low-Income tenant households (≤30% of AMI) and will also connect eligible tenants to other programs to keep them stably housed. Visit for more information and to apply for rent relief.
  • Some Santa Clara County Extremely Low-Income tenant households (≤30% of AMI) who applied on the State’s website between March 15th and May 1st, may have received an email from the program that they were “rejected” and must apply through the local program.
  • Landlords should not wait to apply. The State has represented that they are committed to funding 100% of the rental arrears and are working on making sure landlords with previously submitted applications will receive 100% of the qualifying rent arrearage.


As of March 15, 2021, the state has begun to accept applications to distribute the first $2.6 billion of direct rental assistance. This was allocated to California from the December 2020 federal stimulus package. Tenants and housing providers will be eligible for up to a year of unpaid back rent (April 2020 through March 2021) and allow up to three months of future rent payments (April 2021 through June 2021), depending on the availability of funds. Both tenants and housing providers are eligible to apply if certain criteria are met. 

    • The program is voluntary for housing providers to participate and apply
  • Tenants of housing providers who do not opt in to the program will be eligible to apply for a 25% payment of unpaid rent so they will be protected monthly from the eviction moratorium until it expires.

The bill prioritizes households with the highest need for rent relief, targeting households with less than 80% area median income (AMI) and utilizing rounds to prioritize those who need rent relief the most:

  • Round 1: Below 50% AMI or unemployed for 90 days.
  • Round 2: Income below 80% AMI and in a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Round 3: Everyone below 80% AMI not addressed in round 1 or 2 above.

The state has created a housing provider checklist and a tenant checklist for the requirements to complete a rental assistance application.

The portal that you can use to apply for state rental assistance is now live.

The City of San Jose and the County of Santa Clara will receive additional funds to implement local rental assistance programs. These local programs will give first priority to extremely low-income tenants making 30% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI). Local aid has been made available and applications are accepted at the same link as above.

The most recent federal stimulus package has been signed into law (American Rescue Plan) and will allocate additional funds to these rental assistance programs, as well as a homeowner assistance fund (mortgage assistance, unpaid utilities, and more).