Apply to get help with your rent

Residents in need of rental assistance can now apply to the San Francisco Emergency Rental Assistance Program

What to do

1. Check if you meet all eligibility criteria

You are a San Francisco resident and one of the following applies to you:

  • Need assistance with rent for April 2022 and later
  • Need security deposit and/or first and last months’ rent for a unit you are planning to move into
  • Need assistance for unpaid rent from before April 2020
  • Did not apply to the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program before the March 31, 2022 deadline
  • Your state program application was denied and your appeal was also denied
  • Exceeded rental assistance available from the state program

You must not make more than a certain amount for your household size:

  • For 1 person, $104,400
  • For 2 people, $119,300
  • For 3 people, $134,200
  • For 4 people, $149,100
  • For 5 people, $161,050
  • For 6 people, $173,000
  • For 7 people, $184,900
  • For 8 people, $196,850

These income limits are at or below 80% of HUD’s Area Median Income (AMI) for San Francisco.

You can demonstrate risk of homelessness or housing instability, such as loss of income, past-due rent, or inability to pay rent that will come due.

2. Apply to get help with your rent

Even if you have doubts as to whether you may by eligible, we encourage you to apply. You will not be asked about your citizenship status.

CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Updates

The last day to apply to the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program was March 31, 2022.  If you applied by March 31, your application will be processed by the State of California and all eligible applicants will receive assistance through March 2022. You may also file appeals past the March 31 application deadline if you receive a denial from the state program or if you received less than you requested.

Due to the high volume of applications and depending on your eviction risk, processing times for your state program application may take several weeks.  Please upload all required documents to not delay processing. You can receive status updates for your state program application by calling the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program Call Center at (833) 430-2122.

If you need assistance paying rent for the period after March 31, 2022, you can apply to our local San Francisco Emergency Rental Assistance Program (SF ERAP).

Current Eviction Protections

Above all, don’t move out! You have rights and free legal and financial help is available. Visit our Rent Relief Resources page to find a community-based partner near you.

The government actions described below are difficult to understand. If you receive eviction documents, you should immediately contact the Eviction Defense Collaborative at (415) 659-9184 or legal@evictiondefense.org, or visit EDC at 1338 Mission St. on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, 10-11:30 am and 1-2:30 pm. They will connect you to an attorney. If you need advice about a specific situation, you can also contact the Rent Board, a mediator, or a tenant counselor for more information. 

Please keep in mind, rent is still owed – it has not been forgiven or cancelled. You should respond to any nonpayment notice from a landlord before it expires and apply for rental assistance as soon as possible.

New Local Eviction Protections for Tenants Beginning July 1, 2022

Landlords and tenants should be aware that Mayor Breed signed legislation, passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, that prohibits landlords from evicting residential tenants for non-payment of rent that originally came due on or after July 1, 2022 and was not paid due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also prohibits landlords from imposing late fees, penalties, or similar charges on tenants who are unable to pay their post-July 2022 rent due to COVID-19. These protections shall remain in place until the Mayor terminates her COVID-19 Emergency Proclamation. Please note that this legislation does not protect tenants against eviction if the rental debt was incurred prior to July 1, 2022.

For tenants with a pending application with the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program:

Under state law AB 2179 and through June 30, 2022, landlords seeking to take eviction action must demonstrate to the court upon filing eviction paperwork that the tenant they seek to evict does not have a pending application with the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program or was denied assistance by this program - Otherwise, the court will not issue the lawsuit. Even if the court were to issue the lawsuit, a pending application will put a pause on the legal process.

The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Program, a state program, only covers the period April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2022. If you need rental assistance for the period after March 31, 2022, apply to our local program, San Francisco Emergency Rental Assistance Program (SF ERAP).

If you have been served with an eviction notice or lawsuit, contact the Eviction Defense Collaborative immediately to help you with the legal process: call 415-659-9184, email legal@evictiondefense.org, or visit in-person 1338 Mission Street (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10-11:30 am and 1-2:30 pm).

For tenants without a pending application with the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program:

Landlords seeking to take eviction action can proceed as they did before the pandemic. This legal process moves very quickly and is difficult to navigate alone, but you are not alone and free legal and financial help is available!

Apply to the San Francisco Emergency Rental Assistance Program (SF ERAP) as soon as possible.  Visit our rent relief resources page to get help.

If you have been served with an eviction notice or lawsuit, contact the Eviction Defense Collaborative immediately to help you with the legal process: call 415-659-9184, email legal@evictiondefense.org, or visit in-person 1338 Mission Street (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10-11:30 am and 1-2:30 pm).

I could not pay rent between March 1 - August 31, 2020

AB 832 prohibits evictions for nonpayment of rent for these months. The landlord cannot evict, but can take the tenant to small claims court starting November 1, 2021 for any rent that is still unpaid.  AB 832 requires the tenant to provide landlord a signed declaration in response to a 15-day notice. 

I could not pay rent between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021

For rent due between September 2020-September 2021, AB-2179 prohibits evictions for nonpayment of rent, and allows the landlord to take the tenant to small claims court starting November 1, 2021 for any rent that is still unpaid. AB-2179 requires the tenant to give the landlord signed declaration(s) in response to 15-day notice(s),  AND by September 30, 2021 to pay at least 25% of the missed rent from September 2020-September 2021 rents (can be lump-sum).

Can I be evicted even if I am paying my rent in full?

Starting January 1, 2022 evictions not based on unpaid rent may proceed subject to the City’s Rent Ordinance. If you receive eviction documents, you should immediately contact the Eviction Defense Collaborative at (415) 659-9184 or legal@evictiondefense.org, or visit EDC at 1338 Mission St. on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, 10-11:30 am and 1-2:30 pm. They will connect you to an attorney.

If you need advice about a specific situation, you can also contact the Rent Board, a mediator, or a tenant counselor for more information. Visit our Rent relief resources page for a list of organizations.

Help is on the way!

No low-income tenant should be evicted for unpaid rent. Rental assistance is available. Apply to SF ERAP now!

Get help

Get free help with your application

A community-based partner organization near you can help you with the application process.

Visit our Rent relief resources page for more information.

Last updated July 21, 2022