Emergency

Housing and Renter Support during COVID-19

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Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

The County of Sonoma Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) helps eligible households who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides payment assistance for renters or landlords who need help with rent and utilities. Applications can be completed online or sent in via mail. 

  • Any community member can apply for assistance regardless of immigration status
  • Funds can be used to pay rent as well as past-due utility bills and home service bills

Need help applying online?

Apply Here

Contact one of the CBO’s providers for assistance. Spanish-speaking assistance is available. Application assistance is also available at 2-1-1

Organization Webpage Phone Number Service Area
North Bay Organizing Project/ Undocufund http://www.northbayop.org/ (707) 520-4755 Sonoma County
Petaluma People Services Center https://petalumapeople.org/housing/ (707) 7658488 Sonoma County
Reach For Home https://www.reachforhome.org/ (707) 4336161 Northern Sonoma County (Windsor-Cloverdale)
La Luz https://www.laluzcenter.org/ (707) 9385131 Sonoma Valley
Catholic Charities https://www.srcharities.org/contact (707) 528-8712 Sonoma County
West County Community Services / River to Coast Children’s Services https://www.westcountyservices.org/ (707) 837-3037
for Spanish call (707) 869-3613
West County
Community Action Partnership Sonoma County https://www.capsonoma.org/ (707) 5446911 Sonoma County
Child Parent Institute https://calparents.org/ (707) 341-2877 Sonoma County
Face to Face/ Sonoma County AIDS Network https://f2f.org/services/housing-services/ (707) 544-1581 Sonoma County (Patients or clients of Face2Face only)
Russian River Alliance https://www.russianriveralliance.org/ (707) 520-0032 Forestville to Cazadero including, Occidental.

 

Please visit our FAQ to get more information on the process and who is eligible to apply.

Other Services

Renters

There are local resources for both renters and homeowners available in Sonoma County.

Paying Utility Bills

  • Salvation Army – 93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa, (707) 542-0981
    • Help to pay water, electric and other utility bills.
    • Afternoons, Monday-Friday, by appointment only.

CURA Project

The COVID-19 Urgent Response and Aid (CURA) Project is a hub connecting Latinx, Indigenous, and low-income community members to a wide range of community-based services.

  • If you tested positive for COVID-19 or you are quarantining due to possible exposure, you may be eligible for emergency financial assistance.
  • Resource navigation and case management is available for COVID-19 testing and education, tenant rights and legal aid, food aid and delivery, and mental health services.

Renters & Homeowners

  • COVID-19 Protections and Information
    • Legal Aid has prepared several resources designed to inform Sonoma County residents of the most up-to-date laws regarding renters and homeowner protections, rental support, and other COVID-19 laws. Please visit Legal Aid of Sonoma for the full list of resources.
  • Season of Sharing (SOS)Disaster assistance with housing costs and critical family needs applications accepted through June 30.
    • Supports low-to-moderate income families with dependent children, age 55 and older, disabled individuals, veterans, pregnant women in their 2nd or 3rd trimester, survivors of domestic violence and transitioning emancipated foster youth between 18 and 24.
    • During the pandemic, support is also available for those who have lost income due to the coronavirus.
  • Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County
    • Information about low-income rent and deposit assistance programs.

For assistance with rent or utilities, see Financial & Housing Assistance »

COVID-19 Eviction Defense Ordinance

On March 24, 2020, the Board of Supervisors took action to approve the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Ordinance, effective immediately and for the duration of the declared Local Emergency in Sonoma County.

Non-payment of Rent due to COVID-19

This ordinance creates a legal defense for tenants who live anywhere in Sonoma County and are being evicted due to non-payment of rent and who can demonstrate financial losses due to lost work or medical expenses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The ordinance requires that tenants who use this defense share that information with their landlord to support claims for any prospective mortgage relief. The nonpayment protections will continue for 60 days after the end of the emergency.

California state law provides additional protections for tenants who submit monthly Declarations of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress to their landlord and pay 25 percent of their rent owed from Sept. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021 by Sept. 30, 2021. Under our local repayment period as modified by state law, Sonoma County tenants who were impacted by COVID-19 have until June 30, 2022 to pay any remaining unpaid rent that came due between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021.

Just Cause

On Feb. 9, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Ordinance, requiring landlords to state a “Just Cause” reason to evict tenants in any eviction notice and prove that is the real reason for the eviction in court. The only allowable “Just Cause” reasons for eviction are:

  • The tenant poses an imminent threat to health or safety (like violence);
  • The landlord is removing the property from the rental market; or
  • Nonpayment of rent (but there are currently protections in place for tenants who cannot pay rent because of COVID-19).

This amendment creates a legal defense for tenants who live anywhere in Sonoma County and receive an eviction notice based on any other reason.

The COVID-19 Just Cause protections apply to all Sonoma County tenants, including those who are unable to pay rent and those who are able to pay rent. The COVID-19 Just Cause protections are in effect until the end of the local repayment period as modified by state law (currently June 30, 2022).

The ordinance automatically applies to both incorporated and unincorporated areas of Sonoma County, although cities may elect to establish their own ordinance.

Rent is not forgiven for tenants with a COVID-19 hardship, but resources are available. Tenants and landlords should apply for rental assistance. Tenants should apply even if they borrowed money to stay current on rent, they moved, their landlord or master tenant refuses to apply, or they have already received rental/utility assistance in the past.

For tenant support and questions about how the eviction ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors may apply to you, contact Legal Aid Sonoma County at (707) 542-1290 or California Rural Legal Assistance at (707) 528-9941 or watch the videos below, explaining Sonoma County’s Eviction Defense Ordinance:

  • Information for tenants regarding Sonoma County’s COVID-19 Eviction Defense Ordinance
    • Petaluma People Services Center has letter templates that can be sent to landlords if needed, in light of Eviction Defense Ordinance. Email fairhousing@petalumapeople.org

Ways to Help

For more information, see How you can help »