• English
  • Español

Program Overview

The Emergency Rent Assistance Program is intended to prevent homelessness by providing rent and utility assistance to residents of Santa Barbara County who cannot pay because they experienced a loss or reduction of income due to COVID-19.

Qualifying households may apply for a three (3) month subsidy of:
  • Rent assistance up to $6,000 to be paid directly to the owners or managers of the rental units on behalf of all tenants in the applicant's household.
  • Utility assistance to be paid directly to the utility company on behalf of the applicant.
If awarded, qualifying households will also be eligible to thereafter re-apply for an additional three (3) months of assistance, up to a total of 15 months. All subsidies must be applied to past due arrears before they may be applied to current or future rent.
If you need assistance filling out this application or have questions, please call United Way of Santa Barbara County (UWSBC) during the following office hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9:00am and 2:00pm. Our staff is working virtually. We will return all calls and emails within 72 hours (Monday - Friday). For assistance, please call (805) 965-8591 or email us at assistance@unitedwaysb.org.

Upon submission, your application will be sent to Family Service Agency (FSA), UWSBC’s contracted partner agency for case management services. A representative from FSA will contact you to set up an appointment to review your application and required documentation. Due to the high number of applications received, FSA will contact you as time allows. Please do not contact FSA; they will contact you. 

During your meeting, you and your FSA representative will review your application and required documentation, as well as discuss your needs. It is your responsibility to honor your appointment time. Your application will not be considered complete until you meet with your assigned FSA representative. 

Upon completion of your application and your meeting with FSA, UWSBC will review your full application and funding recommendation from FSA and provide written notice of a funding decision. UWSBC retains the right to adjust final funding decisions.

WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO PROCESS APPLICATIONS IN THE ORDER THAT THEY ARE DEEMED COMPLETE AND READY TO PROCESS, REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF ORIGINAL SUBMISSION. APPLICATIONS WILL BE PROCESSED AS LONG AS THERE ARE FUNDS AVAILABLE. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OF ASSISTANCE ONCE FUNDS ARE EXHAUSTED.

Question Title

* To qualify for this assistance, you must meet the following eligibility requirements. Read and confirm that each of the following statements is true about you.

  True
I currently live in a rental unit in Santa Barbara County.
I plan to keep living in my current unit.
Prior to March 2020, I was timely with my rent and utility payments.
Due to COVID-19 (directly or indirectly), I qualify for unemployment benefits OR I have experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship that threatens my household’s ability to pay the costs of our rental unit when due.
Due to COVID-19 (directly or indirectly), I am behind on my rent and/or utility payments or I need assistance with current/future rent, and I am at risk of experiencing housing instability or homelessness.

Question Title

* At your virtual application review meeting, your reviewer will ask you to provide the following required documents. Can you provide each of the following?

  Yes, I can provide it No, I cannot provide it Unsure
Photo identification (your driver's license, passport, or CA ID card)
Proof of address (a recent bank statement, utility bill, or other bill that shows your name and address)
Proof of rental agreement (a copy of your lease or sublease, or any recent document showing amount of current rent, such as rent receipt, money order, Venmo or PayPal statement, or bank statement)
Proof that you are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability (past due rent or utility bills, eviction notice, shutoff notice)
Proof of income for every household member age 18 or older, for at least the past two months, that shows the financial hardship that threatens your ability to pay the costs of your rental unit (pay stubs, wage statements, interest statements, unemployment compensation statements, or form 1040 as filed with the IRS for your 2020 tax return)

T