How do I get housing help during COVID-19?

We know that staying in your housing has been especially difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why the team at One Degree has put together this guide with information and resources that can help you find support for staying in your home, rent assistance, legal aid, and other forms of financial support. The below information is for the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, SW New Mexico, Detroit, MI and Gainesville, FL. 

If you or someone you know is facing eviction:

There is currently a moratorium on evictions through June 2021, which means you can’t be evicted for not paying rent if you’ve lost money because of COVID-19 (lost your job, lower wages or hours etc.) This protection is enforced by the CDC, federal and local governments, depending on your area. 

If you can’t pay your rent due to COVID-19 you cannot legally be evicted until July 2021. If your landlord is threatening to evict you for unpaid rent from after March 2020 do not leave your home

Here’s some information to help you find out if you qualify and how you can avoid being evicted:

California

For any rent owed starting March 2020 you must submit a Declaration of COVID-19 Related Financial Distress to your landlord. You should send this form both by regular mail (certified mail highly recommended) and e-mail and maintain records of sending it. 

*Keep in mind that you are still responsible for paying 25% of rent owed by July 1st, 2021 in order to avoid eviction after that point, or you may be eligible for rent assistance to cover some or all of the cost. See “Rent Assistance” section below. 

New Mexico, Detroit, MI & Gainesville, FL

Use this eviction protection declaration form to see if you qualify for eviction protection. If you qualify, fill out the declaration and send it to the individual or company that you rent from. Be sure to keep detailed records.


Legal Aid Resources for Eviction/Housing Issues:

If you’re having trouble staying housed or need help fighting an eviction, there are great organizations that can provide legal and other support at no cost. 

California

Bay Area Legal Aid

  • Serves seven Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara
  • Cannot support people who have an undocumented status
  • Legal Advice Line: (800) 511-5554
  • See more info on their website

Centro Legal de la Raza

Stay Housed L.A. County

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

New Mexico

New Mexico Legal Aid

Detroit, MI

Lakeshore Legal Aid

Gainesville, FL

Three Rivers Legal Services


Rent Assistance Programs:

If you can’t pay rent because of COVID-19, there are government programs available that can pay for part of your rent and help you avoid eviction.

California

California’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

  • The state of California is offering rent assistance for both renters and landlords who have experienced COVID-19 related financial hardship 
  • You may be eligible for financial assistance for 25%-80% (sometimes 100%) of unpaid rent
  • Learn more about the program and how to apply here: https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/program_overview

You can also use this list or call (833) 687-0967 to be referred to local organizations that can help you apply for rent relief.  

New Mexico

New Mexico’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program

  • New Mexico is offering financial assistance with rent and utilities for eligible renters who have faced financial hardship due to COVID-19. Renters must reapply every 3 months, and total aid is capped at 15 months.
  • Learn more about the program and how to apply here: https://www.renthelpnm.org/
Detroit, MI

COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA)

  • The state of Michigan is offering rent assistance to renters who meet the following criteria:
    • Renters who that have incomes less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
    • Individual(s) in the household qualify for employment or has experienced some form of COVID-19 related financial hardship
    • Individual(s) in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Learn more about the program and apply here: https://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,4641,7-141-5555-533463--,00.html
Gainesville, FL

Alachua County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

  • Alachua County is offering financial assistance for renters who are facing risk of homelessness and either qualify for unemployment benefits or have had a reduction in income
  • Total assistance is capped at $15,000
  • Learn more about the program and apply here: https://info.alachuacounty.us/2021/ERAP/

Other Resources for Support:

California

Eligible applicants for California’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program may also receive 100% compensation for unpaid utilities between April 2020 and March 2021. Learn more about utility assistance through this program here.

If you’re interested in organizing with other renters in your building or neighborhood, see this online resource from Tenants Together, which includes information on the eviction moratorium, and how to organize with others around your tenant rights.

One Degree’s Common App helps you quickly and easily apply for government benefits such as Medi-Cal and CalFresh. To learn more about the Common App and how to apply check out this FAQ.

All Regions

If you’re looking for resources that can help with utility payments, check out this search page for utility assistance to see what opportunities are near you.

One Degree’s Housing Helper is a great tool to connect with other housing organizations and resources in your area. Just answer a few questions to get personalized housing resource recommendations. This tool works best in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, California, but may still be useful to you if you live in Gainesville, FL, Detroit, or SW New Mexico. 

We know that this can be a scary and overwhelming time. If you want help figuring out the best next step, email us at help@1degree.org or text                   (800) 484-0126. We will respond in 2 business days or less.

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