County of San Diego

COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program

The County’s 2021 Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program (ERAP) helps eligible households in qualifying areas who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides payment assistance for renters who need help with rent and utilities. Applications will be accepted until funds are no longer available.

To apply over the phone or for assistance: Call (858) 694-4801

            Video: How to Register: English / Spanish

            Video: How to Apply: English / Spanish


Verification Checklist

  • Documents can be provided after submitting application


Application Selection

The County will prioritize application selection based on the following:

Primary Prioritizations:

  • Household income at or below 50% Area Median Income (AMI)
  • One or more household members are unemployed as of the date of the application for assistance and have not been employed for the 90 day period before such date (household income must not be above 80% AMI)

Secondary Prioritizations:

  • Single-parent households
  • Health Equity (using the lowest two quartiles of the Healthy Places Index or HPI to prioritize)-Residents who live in areas that have less access to healthy opportunities. Information about the Healthy Places Index can be found at View County of San Diego map with HPI by City and Zip Code.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the program, households must meet all of the following criteria:


  • HCDS will serve individuals and families residing in the unincorporated areas of San Diego and the cities of: Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista
  • Residents of the cities of San Diego and Chula Vista visit for information about rental assistance in their area.

Eligible Income:

  • Household income must fall at or below 80% AMI


  • Household must have an obligation to pay rent

Financial Hardship:

  • Households must have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a financial hardship directly or indirectly related to COVID-19.
  • Household is at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Other Eligibility Notes:

  • Households currently receiving rental subsidies such as Section 8, rapid rehousing assistance, or rental assistance from non-profit agencies may apply. The household must certify that the ERAP assistance requested does not duplicate any other assistance, including federal, state, or local assistance provided for the same costs. Duplication of assistance is subject to County verification.
  • Only one application per residence will be permitted.

Emergency Rent and Utility Assistance:

  • ERAP will provide payment assistance for renters behind on rent and utilities. Financial assistance for arrears can be from April 2020 to March 2021, up to twelve months.

Landlord Participation:

  • If the landlord accepts participation in the program, the County will compensate 80% of an eligible household’s rental arrears accumulated from April 2020 to March 2021. The landlord must agree to accept the 80% payment as payment in full of the rental debt owed by the tenant, which means the landlord forgives the remaining debt. The rental arrears will be paid directly to the landlord.
  • The landlord does not have to participate in the program. If the landlord declines participation in the program, the County can compensate 25% of the eligible household’s monthly rental arrears accumulated from April 2020 to March 2021. In this situation, payment of rental arrears can be paid directly to the tenant.

Income Levels:

  • To be eligible, the combined income of all persons in the household must fall at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Please see AMI chart below.

Number of People in Household

Income equal to or less than the following (80% AMI):

1 $67,900
2 $77,600
3 $87,300
4 $97,000
5 $104,800
6 $112,550
7 $120,300
8 $128,050


Flyers and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


ERAP FAQ (Updated 2-27-2021)

English / Spanish / Tagalog / Arabic / 

Vietnamese / Mandarin / Somali / 

Farsi / Swahili


ERAP Flyer (Updated 4-6-2021)

English / Spanish / Tagalog / Arabic / 

Vietnamese / Mandarin / Somali /

Farsi / Swahili



  • Landlord webinar every Thursday from 9am-10am.

                Microsoft Teams meeting

                Join on your computer or mobile app

                Click here to join the meeting

                Or call in (audio only)

                +1 619-343-2539,,633625638#     United States, San Diego

                Phone Conference ID: 633 625 638# 



  • Utilities webinar available for Utility Representatives the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 2pm-3pm.
  • Informational session that will cover the Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program. Utility Representatives will have the opportunity to ask questions about the program.
  • Please call (858) 694-4801 for webinar link.


News Articles

County Extends Rent & Utility Assistance Application Period

Board Expands COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program

KUSI interview: San Diego County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Fox 5 interview: How to apply for emergency rental assistance in San Diego County

Channel 10 interview: County rent relief available


This page will be updated as new information becomes available, check back here for updates!