Santa Rosa, CA – June 9, 2021 – Sonoma County so far has provided $2,678,957 in rental assistance to more than 1,450 residents through its recently activated Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), county staff reported today during the Board of Supervisors meeting. About 1,000 applications have been submitted by landlords so far while the rest have come directly from tenant.
This program is open to all County residents, regardless of immigration status, who are renters or landlords requiring rental assistance. The majority of applications have been submitted by Santa Rosa (45%), Rohnert Park (12.2%), West County (10.5%), and Penngrove/Petaluma (10.5%). Of the applicants who have received funds, 45.8% have been non-Hispanic or Latino, 38.7% have come from Hispanic or Latino households, while 12.8% declined to answer.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program on April 19, 2021, by authorizing the acceptance of $17.5 million in state Block Grant funds to self-administer ERAP to assist households unable to pay rents. The funding was combined with a Federal allocation of $14.7 million for a total of $32.2 million to be administered countywide. The Board also directed the CDC to contract with Legal Aid of Sonoma County to provide counsel services at no cost to tenants for $712,000 annually. The program provides payment assistance for tenants who are behind on rent and utilities. All arrears must be from April 2020 to March 2021.
“We continue to encourage individuals to apply for these funds online and seek support from the many providers the County has partnered with for fund distribution,” said Interim Director of Health Services and Assistant Director of Community Development Commission Tina Rivera. “We understand that we have helped thousands of individuals so far but know we still have the funds and desire to support thousands more. We would like to emphasize that the program is available to all individuals living in Sonoma County, regardless of immigration status. We are here to support our community as a whole, as we continue to move forward in 2021.” The program is ongoing with more than $28.6 million still available for distribution. Individuals who need help in applying for the funds can receive assistance in English or Spanish from one of the community-based organizations listed on SoCoEmergency.org. Individuals may apply online or by mail. All applicants will be notified if they have or have not been selected through email, or via mail if an application was mailed in. For more information please visit SoCoEmergency.org/ERAP.