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San Francisco Rent Assistance Provides More Help with COVID-19

San Francisco Covid-19 Rent Assistance is now available. Currently, residents can take advantage of both state and city rent relief programs in response to COVID-19. Coupled with the state, the city assistance program makes it possible to cover multiple periods of unpaid rent. To take advantage of available funds, it’s important to apply right away.

So what are the details of the state and city rent assistance the programs? We’ll walk you through the basics.

First, the state program covers rental payments due between April 2020 and March 2021. It’s important to remember that California’s rent help program provides up to twelve months of assistance.

Next, the city program covers rental payments due April 2021 and after. Notably, San Francisco’s rent help program provides up to six months of assistance.

California COVID-19 Rent Assistance Program Explained 

For those with qualifying income, California COVID-19 Rent Relief helps pay rent and utilities. This includes both past and future payments. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 funds the program. To get started, the application for the state program is available here.

California COVID-19 Rent Relief for Landlords

Landlords with one or more eligible renters can apply for reimbursement. This covers 80% of eligible renters’ unpaid rent owed between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. To qualify, landlords must waive the remaining 20 percent of unpaid rent for that time period, among other requirements.

Additionally, the renter’s income must be at or below 80 percent of the area median income. 

California COVID-19 Rent Relief for Renters

Likewise, renters can apply for reimbursement. This covers 80 percent of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. Renters whose landlords choose not to participate in the program may apply without their landlord participating. In this case, they would receive 25 percent of unpaid rent between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

To be eligible, one or more people in the household must:

  • Qualify for unemployment benefits or have a reduction in household income 
  • Have incurred financial hardship due to COVID–19
  • Demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability
  • Have household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income

San Francisco Rent Assistance Program Explained

On May 28, 2021, San Francisco announced its rent assistance program. Under this program, the city provides up to three months’ back rent and future rent for a total of six months. 

The eligibility requirements are the same as the state program. Moreover, the city’s program will prioritize applicants with lower incomes and other vulnerabilities.

Where to Apply to San Francisco’s City Rent Assistance Program

To get started with city rent assistance, the application is available here. Because this is new funding, those who applied for assistance before May 2021 must submit a new application. Keep in mind, it’s important to complete only one new application. Duplicate applications will slow down the process.

SB-91 Eviction Protections

Finally, it’s important to note that California’s SB-91 will likely be extended after June 30, 2021. SB-91 imposes strict restrictions on evictions for nonpayment of rent. The measure also provides other tenant protections. Further, the governor has announced plans to provide 100% coverage for unpaid rent. 

In light of these changing laws, the experienced landlord-tenant attorneys at Steven Adair MacDonald & Partners stand ready to field questions from landlords and tenants. This is especially important when navigating the rules under COVID-19. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 415-956-6488.

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