SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - As the pandemic continues impacting the economy locally and statewide, Santa Barbara County and United Way of Santa Barbara County decided to offer rental assistance grants to struggling community members.
The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program will provide limited grants to residents who live in unincorporated parts of Santa Barbara County including, but not limited to, Burton Mesa, Casmalia, Cuyama, Eastern Goleta Valley, Gaviota, Isla Vista, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Ynez, Summerland and Vandenberg Village.
In order to be eligible, these residents must have experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic and can show they are in need of rental support.
According to the county, this means a resident's household income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, for example, $66,750 for a household of one or $95,300 for a household of four.
Loss of income can be proven through an employer letter, employer address, date of furlough/layoff/termination or a signed declaration under penalty of perjury and repayment of funds.
“The pandemic has highlighted the precarious financial situation and extreme stress many county residents are experiencing,” said Steve Ortiz, President & CEO of United Way. “Every day we hear from local individuals who have lost work and cannot afford rent, food, medicine, or other necessary bills due to the current health crisis. Thanks to our partnership with the County of Santa Barbara, many of these individuals can now meet these basic needs.”
The rental assistance program will provide less than monthly rent or $1,000 per month for up to three months, or up to $3,000 per household. Landlords are also encouraged to make payment arrangements for tenants with unpaid rent.
Local officials estimate the program may assist 600 households countywide.
The program will persist until all available funds are used up or the end-date of Nov. 30, 2020, is reached.
To apply for rental assistance, click here.
To check if you live in an unincorporated area of the county, refer to the map found here.