COVID -19 Housing Help

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our Town, we understand the increasing struggles facing our residents and property owners. Please see these programs that may help. County laws and the State Tenant, Homeowner and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 provide renters, homeowners, and small landlords with relief if coronavirus or the quarantine has impacted your ability to pay all or part of your rent or mortgage. More information is available at Housing is Key.

Tenants 

Emergency Rental Assistance

County of Marin has a safety-net rental assistance program to support local residents during COVID-19. 

  • Call (415) 473-2223 to be added to the waitlist. If your call is not answered, please leave a message with your name and callback number so a member of our staff can contact you.
  • Llame al 415-473-2223 para poner su nombre en la lista de espera. Si no contesta su llamada, por favor deje un mensaje con su nombre y número de teléfono para que un miembro de nuestro personal pueda regresar su llamada.

Visit the County website for more information https://housingfirst.marinhhs.org/emergency-rental-assistance-program.

Certain Evictions Prohibited

State law protects you from eviction if you are unable to pay some or all of your rent due to coronavirus or the quarantine between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. You’ll need to pay at least 25% of your rent for this period. You can do that monthly or in one lump sum by June 30, 2021. Renters must take some steps including providing the property owner with a declaration of financial hardship. Make sure you:

  • Explain your financial situation to your landlord and tell them how much you can pay. Use this Declaration Form
  • Save all financial documents 
  • Pay as much of your rent as you can

If your landlord is attempting to evict you and you took all the above steps, contact a local legal aid provider and learn about your protections.

  • Owners cannot charge late or collection fees.
  • Owners seeking to evict for unpaid rent must document good-faith efforts to help tenants obtain household assistance. 
  • Owners cannot use pandemic-related rent arrears on credit reports as a negative factor in choosing tenants.
  • By February 28, 2021, property owners are required to send noticing language to their tenants about this new law and the availability of rental assistance to all tenants that owe one or more rental payments between March 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021. Failure to do so may affect their ability to evict a tenant that fails to comply with the COVID-19 Tenant Relief Act.

Additional information regarding the State programs may be found at HousingIsKey.com. Property owners and tenants may also call the "COVID-19 Information Hotline" at (833) 422-4255 for assistance.

You may also be protected under the Marin County Just Cause Evictions BanPlease see this page for more information and other housing resources.

The new State funding will have additional resources for residents and property owners. Information will be posted when it is available.

  • Help With Past Due Rent. With a tenant’s assistance, the landlord can apply for and use the funds to repay up to 80% of the tenant's past-due rent accumulated between 4/1/20 and 3/31/21. The landlord must then forgive the remaining 20% outstanding balance. If the landlord refuses to participate, 25% of the past due rent amount will instead go directly to the tenant.
  • Help With Future Rent. The funds must first be used for rent past-due from 4/1/20 - 3/31/21 followed by future rent, utilities and household expenses. However, payments toward rent incurred after 3/31/21 are capped at 25% of the monthly rent due.

Utilities

The State of California has enacted halts on utility shutoffs. The utility shutoff moratorium for nonpayment extends until at least April 16, 2021.

  • PG&E will not shut off your services due to non-payment. If you have recently lost your job, even if you are receiving unemployment benefits, you may qualify for a reduced energy rate through PG&E CARE or FERA programs. PG&E Financial Assistance Programs
  • Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) will not shutoff your water due to non-payment and there will be no late fees if you fall behind on your payments. MMWD offers options to help you lower your water bill payments, including income-based discounts and payment plans. They also offer discounts for those with medical needs. Learn more about MMWD discounted rate programs or contact Customer Service at 415.945.1400. Report any water shutoff or reconnect issue at COVID-19 Water Shut-Off Complaint Report.

Homeowners and Small Property Owners

Foreclosure protection is available for homeowners and small property owners who have federally-backed mortgages through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These protections last through January 1, 2023. This includes landlords with four or fewer properties (whether or not they’re owner-occupied).  Homeowners or small landlords who don’t have federally-backed loans can contact their loan servicers to request forbearance. Your lender must provide detailed reasons if they deny your forbearance request. You can contest a denial. These protections cover forbearance denials made through April 1, 2021. 

These financial institutions may be able to reduce or delay your monthly payment. In addition, they will: 

  • Give you a streamlined process to request forbearance for coronavirus-related reasons, supported with available documentation
  • Confirm approval of and terms of the forbearance program
  • Provide the opportunity to extend your forbearance agreement if you continue to experience hardship due to coronavirus

Learn more at this Housing is Key page for homeowners.

Homeless

If you’re experiencing homelessness, you can contact Connie Borges (415) 454-3303 cborges@vinnies.org or Carrie Sager (415) 473-7590 csager@marincounty.org for help. See this page for other resources.

Fair Housing Organizations

Fair Housing laws are federal and state laws that protect Marin County residents from discriminatory housing practices. These laws may be violated if a person is treated differently than other tenants or prospective tenants because of one or more of your class attributes. Several organizations are available to assist the public in relation to housing issues. See our Fair Housing website page here.

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