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.

Organization Webpage Phone Number Service Area
NorthBay Organizanizing Project/ Undocufund http://www.northbayop.org/ (707) 318-6631 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

  • NEW 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.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
      • Information for mortgage holders
  • 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.
  • CARES Rental Assistance
  • Mortgage holders

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.

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.

On Feb. 9, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the ordinance that includes Just Cause Limitations, which closes loopholes that could have been used by landlords to evict tenants for minor lease infractions. This applies to residents who are unable to pay rent for COVID-19-related reasons and those who are able to pay rent but may have other minor lease infractions.

For instance, without Just Cause Limitations, landlords would have been able to evict tenants who were not paying rent for COVID-19-related reasons for minor lease infractions such as an unauthorized sublet or having a pet. The Just Cause Limitations does allow landlords to evict residents who are unable to pay rent for COVID-related reasons when there are demonstrable health and safety concerns or when a property is removed from the rental market.

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

The Ordinance will continue for 60 days after the end of the emergency. Rent is not forgiven for tenants with a hardship, but landlords must work with tenants on a rent repayment program that will allow tenants to stay housed during this emergency.

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@petaulmapeople.org

Ways to Help

For more information, see How you can help »