Programs can help San Diego renters, landlords with housing costs

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – San Diego County’s Housing and Community Development Services department will roll out two initiatives aimed at assisting landlords and tenants who have struggled financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced Thursday.

Both efforts are part of the county’s existing Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program, which supports low-income renters impacted by the pandemic.

The first program is intended to provide payments to landlords with rental properties whose tenants are late on their rent. The Rental Assistance for Small Landlord Program will compensate landlords or property owners for overdue rent payments accumulated since April 2020.

Recipients must meet several criteria, including:

  • the property must be located in San Diego County and the owner must be a county resident;
  • the landlord must own no more than five rental units; and
  • tenants in eligible units must be at least three months past due on their rent.

The county will pay benefits directly to the landlord and applications will be accepted until funding runs out. The application period opens Sept. 1.

The second initiative is aimed at making it easier for San Diego renters to come up with security deposits when moving to a new rental unit. Through the Security Deposit Assistance Program, eligible applicants can receive security deposit assistance, limited to two months’ rent, up to $7,000.

To qualify, the applicant must meet certain income limits and must sign a six-months or longer lease for the unit they plan to rent. Landlord participation is a requirement and payments will be made directly to the property owner.

The application period for security deposit assistance opens Sept. 3.

Both programs are intended to lessen housing cost burdens and maintain housing stability for low-income renters and landlords who have faced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program provides assistance with rent, utilities and other costs such as internet service and application fees. The program is funded by federal and state grants, and the county has awarded $107 million to more than 12,000 households since the beginning of the pandemic. The county recently received additional funding from both the federal and state governments allowing previous recipients to request additional assistance and expanding the pool of eligible applicants.

For more information, visit SDHCD.org or call 858-694-4801.

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