CARES for Tenants

 

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Apply for help with housing costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get financial help to pay rent if COVID-19 has hurt your finances and you are unable to pay rent. Grants of up to $1,500 are available.


1. Check to see if you can apply

You must live in Santa Ana. Your immigration status does not matter.

You must have a COVID-19 related financial hardship impacting your ability to pay rent and must have notified your landlord.

You must be able to prove you lost income or have increased expenses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your household must make under a certain amount. The maximum amount depends on the number of people in your household (including yourself):

Family Size

Maximum Family Income (80% AMI)

Family Size

Maximum Family Income  (80% AMI)

1

$71,750

5

$110,650

2

$82,000

6

$118,850

3

$92,250

7

$127,050

4

$102,450

8

$135,250

 

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)
  • Copy of your lease or sublease agreement (or regular payment receipts to the owner or leaseholder and at least one of the following: a letter, utility statement, bill, ID or written statement for anyone in the primary household that has the unit address)
  • Copy of a letter to your landlord providing notification of your inability to pay rent.

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

Program Documents

Program Fylers

English Spanish Vietnamese

Program Guidelines

English Spanish Vietnamese

Frequently Asked Questions

English Spanish Vietnamese


Frequently Asked Questions

Who 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. The family 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

$71,750

5

$110,650

2

$82,000

6

$118,850

3

$92,250

7

$127,050

4

$102,450

8

$135,250

What is the eligibility criteria?

Renters must meet the income qualifications as a low-income family earning no more than 80% of the Area Median Income.  The financial impact on the family’s inability to pay their rent must be as a result of COVID-19.  Renters must provide documentation of their inability to pay rent due to the Coronavirus in the form of a written letter to their landlord.  The letter is the documentation that the City is requesting to show that the tenant cannot pay their rent due to a reason related to COVID-19. (If you have a concern about sending a letter to your landlord, you can address the letter to the City).

Renters who receive assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, also known as Section 8, or those who receive other government rental assistance are not eligible. Renters who receive rent subsidies from a nonprofit rental assistance program are not eligible. Households residing in temporary housing such as motels or homeless shelters are not eligible.  Renters who receive assistance through the Coronavirus Rental Relief Program for Landlords (“CARES for Landlords”) are not eligible.  Households who receive assistance from another emergency rental relief or rental assistance program are not eligible. Receiving unemployment benefits or a stimulus check does not make your household ineligible.

When can I apply?

Applications will be available online starting at 8:00AM on August 17th. You will need to submit several documents with your application, so make sure you have them ready to go before you start filling it out. You can find a list of requirements under our Program Guidelines or at www.santa-ana.orgThere is no deadline to submit the application. A weekly lottery and application sorting procedure will be conducted to randomly select applications that will be processed until all of the funds are exhausted. If you do not complete all of the steps in the application and it does not have a status of “application submitted”, it will not be included in the lottery process.

What are examples of COVID-19 impacts to show that I cannot pay my rent due to a reason related to COVID-19?

Examples include, but are not limited to you are no longer working because you were laid off; you are no longer working because you have to take care of children;  you are no longer working because you are sick or you are taking care of a family member who is sick.

How much financial assistance is available?

A household can receive $1,500 for rental assistance.  The assistance is paid directly to the landlord.

How many people will receive assistance?

We estimate that we will be able to serve 1,260 families with the $2.1 million in funding that we currently have available from this source.  This number is subject to change if we receive additional funding from the State or Federal government.

If I receive this assistance will I have to pay it back?

No, this assistance is a grant and does not have to be paid back.

Will the rent payment be paid to me or the landlord?

The payment will be made directly to the landlord in accordance with strict federal guidelines.

My rent is less than $1,500 per month. How will that affect my award amount?

The Coronavirus Emergency Rental Relief Fund for Tenants is a flat amount of $1,500 per household and will apply to past, current or future rent due to your landlord.

Is the application available in languages besides English?

Yes, the application is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

How can I apply to receive rental assistance?

Beginning August 17th at 8:00 a.m. please visit https://www.santa-ana.org/covid19/rental-relief to complete an on-line application. There is no deadline to submit the application. A weekly lottery  and application sorting procedure will be conducted to randomly select applications that will be processed until all of the funds are exhausted. The application is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  The following documents are required at the time of submittal for a complete application packet:

  • 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)
  • Copy of your lease or sublease agreement
    • The following documentation may also be accepted in place of a lease or sublease: Regular payment receipts to the owner or leaseholder (including money orders, bank statements showing a regular withdraw, cancelled checks, or a Venmo statement) AND at least one of the following: a letter, utility statement, bill, ID or written statement for anyone in the primary household that has the unit address.
  • Copy of a letter to your landlord providing notification of your inability to pay rent.  IMPORTANT: In order to apply for assistance, you MUST notify your landlord of your inability to pay rent due to a COVID-19 related hardship.
I DO NOT have internet access; how do I apply for rental assistance?

If you do not have access to the internet, please call or e-mail one of these two nonprofit organizations to request a physical application:

  • Catholic Charities can provide assistance in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.  Please contact Loy Gibson at Catholic Charities at (714) 347-9602 or lgibson@ccoc.org.
  • The Salvation Army can provide assistance in English and Spanish.  Please contact Tabitha Walton at the Salvation Army at (714) 384-0481 ocfamilyservices@gmail.com.
How long will it take to process my application?

Processing time depends on each applicant. The average length of time for processing is expected to be four weeks from the date the application is selected in the lottery and assigned to either Catholic Charities or The Salvation Army.  Applications will be considered on a weekly basis through the end of December or until all funds are expended, whichever comes first. If there is unverifiable information or there are multiple applications submitted all at one time, the four-week turnaround time may turn into six to eight weeks.

I already submitted an application.  How can I check the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application on-line by logging into the Neighborly application system that you used to submit your original application.  You should have a username and password that you used to complete your application. Please write these down as well as the application number that is assigned to you once you start an application. If you have any trouble logging in, please contact Loy Gibson at Catholic Charities at (714) 347-9602 or lgibson@ccoc.org; Tabitha Walton at the Salvation Army at  (714) 384-0481 ocfamilyservices@gmail.com; or Maricela Marquez at (714) 647-6962 or mmarquez@santa-ana.org.

My landlord submitted an application for the Coronavirus Rental Relief Fund for Landlords (Santa Ana “CARES for Landlords”).  Am I still eligible?

If your landlord’s application for the CARES for Landlords program was approved, and your rental unit was included in that application, you are not eligible for the Coronavirus Rental Relief Fund for Tenants Program. 

Are citizenship documents required for this program?

No, while we do require identification for all members of your household, we will not ask about your citizenship status.

Why are you asking about my race and ethnicity?

We use this information for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) data collection purposes.  It may even help Santa Ana get more federal funds to help our residents. Your race or ethnicity does not impact your eligibility for rental assistance.

Should I tell my landlord that I am applying for this program?

Yes. Communication between renters and landlords is important. Most landlords do not want to lose good tenants and communication can go a long way to help maintain a good relationship. 

What if my landlord refuses to participate in the program?

We hope that will not happen, but if it does, we cannot require your landlord to participate. We believe most landlords will be glad to receive rental income and will be inclined to participate.

How will I be notified if I am approved to receive rental assistance?

You will receive an email notification that your application has been selected and you will be awarded the rental assistance payment paid directly to your landlord.  You may also receive a phone call if you do not respond to the e-mail.

$1,500 doesn’t cover my entire rent. What do I do?

You should work with your landlord to set up a payment plan that will allow you to repay the remaining rent you owe.

Why can’t you pay my entire rent?

The need in Santa Ana is great due to the Coronavirus and we want to help the most families. We are doing our best to make our available funding go as far as possible.

I have multiple adults living in my household. Who should submit the application?

Any adult that is listed on the lease can submit the application for rental assistance on behalf of the household. Your household should only submit one application.

I had to leave my job/reduce my hours because I couldn’t find childcare. Am I eligible?

Yes. If you your childcare provider or school closed due to coronavirus and you had to leave your job or reduce hours to care for them, you are eligible for this program.

If I have questions, who do I contact at the City?
  1. The City of Santa has partnered with two local nonprofit organizations to review applications and make payments directly to landlords.  Please contact one of the two organizations listed below if you have any questions. It is most helpful if you have your application number available when you call::

 

Catholic Charities of Orange County
(Languages Spoken: English, Spanish, Vietnamese)

Loy Gibson
1820 E. 16th Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 347-9602
lgibson@ccoc.org

The Salvation Army of Orange County
(Languages Spoken: English, Spanish)

Tabitha Walton
The Red Shield Community Center
1515 W. North Street
Anaheim, CA 92801
(714) 384-0481
ocfamilyservices@gmail.com

If you have any additional questions or you are unable to reach one of the two nonprofit organizations listed above, please contact:

Maricela Marquez
City of Santa Ana
(714) 647-6962
mmarquez@santa-ana.org