CARES for Tenants

Apply Online


Apply for payment of 100% of your rental arrears / past due rent owed since April 1, 2020

Get financial help to pay rent if COVID-19 has hurt your finances and you owe back rent. Grants equal to the amount of your rental arrears (up a maximum of 15 months since April 1, 2020) are available. 

Renters who have already been approved for any amount up to $5,500 in emergency rental assistance may be considered for additional assistance (up to the amount they owe in rental arrears with a maximum of 15 months of assistance) after re-certifying their eligibility with The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Latino Health Access or Families Forward.


1. Check to see if you can apply

  • Low-income City of Santa Ana renters who have been impacted by COVID-19
  • The renter must be a resident of the City of Santa Ana with a current lease or sublease agreement with an address in the City.
  • One or more individuals within the household has: 1) qualified for unemployment benefits or 2) experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to COVID–19 outbreak, to which the applicant shall attest in writing.
  • The family must be able to demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.
  • The household must have rental arrears/past-due rent owed since April 1, 2020.
  • The household must qualify as a low-Income household according to the income limits below:

Family Size

Maximum Family Income (80% AMI)

Family Size

Maximum Family Income  (80% AMI)

1

$75,300

5

$116,200

2

$86,050

6

$124,800

3

$96,800

7

$133,400

4

$107,550

8

$142,000

HUD Income Limits effective 4/1/21

2. Apply online

Apply online using this form.

Make sure you have all of these documents complete and ready to upload with your application:

  • Copy of valid photo I.D for each adult family member
  • Landlord/Property Management’s name and contact information (including phone number, email, and/or fax number)
  • Complete copies of your lease or sublease agreement (See Question #5 on Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Copy of the declaration to your landlord providing verification of your inability to pay rent. You can also send this declaration to the City if you do not want to send it to your landlord. A copy of the “Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress" form can be found here: https://landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov/tenant/forms.html
  • Verification of Income Eligibility: paystubs, W-2s or other wage statements, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income, or an attestation from an employer.   

If you do not have a computer with internet access or need assistance submitting an application please contact the Santa Ana Work Center at (714) 565-2600 or by email at saworkcenter@santa-ana.org to schedule an appointment. Assistance is available by appointment only.

3. After you apply

You will receive a confirmation e-mail from Neighborly software. You can check the status of your application by logging back into the application portal.

The Orange County United Way is disbursing the funding for the City’s CARES for Tenants Program (also known as the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program). Landlords will receive a Welcome Email from the Orange County United Way explaining the documentation required to receive payment. Due to the high volume of applications, we anticipate this could take a few weeks for notification.  If you have any questions regarding the required documentation required to receive payment, please e-mail ERASA@UnitedWayOC.org.

The State’s eviction moratorium has helped renters stay in their homes. Information about the eviction moratorium can be found on the Housing is Key website at https://landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov

  Upcoming Virtual Workshops:   Workshop #2 June 30, 2021

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