Rental assistance is available for tenants and property owners in Berkeley

Berkeley tenants and property owners who need financial support with rent and utilities can apply by the end of September to receive up to 15 months of assistance from Alameda County and the state.

Apply online for rental assistance.

Berkeley residents and landlords have received $2.9 million through Alameda County’s rent relief program since 2018, according to Alameda County Housing Secure, a collaborative group of local government services and lawyers.

This is among $15 million disbursed throughout the county as of Aug. 31, 2021. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state made available $5.2 billion in support through the Housing is a Key program.

Berkeley currently has an ongoing eviction moratorium in place that prohibits tenants from being evicted, in addition to protections from Alameda County, which expire 60 days after its health emergency is lifted. The state’s eviction moratorium expires Sept. 30 (it has been extended once before) and tenants outside of Alameda County should apply for assistance before then.

To qualify, single taxpayer renters must have an annual adjusted gross income of $76,750 or below, two-person joint filers can make up to $87,700 and three-person filers can make up to $98,650. These numbers will be verified based on recent pay stubs in the county, unemployment payment or another form of income.

Those with lower incomes will be prioritized, and tenants are required to live in Alameda County, have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 or can show a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

Property owners can apply on their own even if tenants don’t apply, according to state Sen. Nancy Skinner’s office, but the process will move faster if tenants and their property owners apply together.

The application can be submitted online in English, Spanish and Chinese. Additional languages for tenants are available in a downloadable paper application and emailed, or submitted at Centro Legal De La Raza, 3400 East 12th St., Oakland.