Rental assistance now available for Santa Ana residents

More than half of Santa Ana residents rent their primary residence. Laura Diaz / el Don

Individuals in Santa Ana who owe back rent or are at risk of homelessness may now be eligible for a one time rental assistance payment.  

How it works:

Renters can apply for 80% of unpaid back rent accrued from April 01, 2020 to March 31, 2021, up to $5,500. The landlord must agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid back rent in order to receive the payment. This does not have to be paid back since it is a grant not a loan. The City of Santa Ana will work with local nonprofit organizations who will review applications and assist those eligible.  The four nonprofits assisting in this project are:

Where is the money coming from?

This program is funded by the state of California. Once an application is approved by one of the four providers listed above a payment will be sent by United Way of Orange County.

Is it one time payment or can a person receive multiple rounds of assistance?

This is a one time payment of up to $5,500 to be paid to the landlord. However, if a renter was previously approved for $1,500 or $3,000 in emergency rental assistance they will still be considered for the current round of assistance.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who are at risk for homelessness or housing instability. Those who have qualified for unemployment benefits, have accrued significant costs or experienced monthly income reduction due to Covid-19 and other financial hardships may apply for assistance. Applicants will not be asked about their citizenship status nor will they be required to show proof of citizenship.

How to apply?

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Applications can be submitted online, and renters without computer access can contact the Santa Ana Work Center at (714) 565-2600 or email to schedule an appointment. Assistance is available by appointment only. 

What you will need to apply:

  • Copy of valid photo ID for each adult member.
  • Property management/Landlord name and contact information.
  • Copies of lease or sublease agreement.
  • Copy of declaration to your landlord providing verification of your inability to pay rent. If for any reason you do not wish to send this declaration directly to your landlord then you can also send it to the city. A  “Declaration of COVID-19 Financial Distress” template can be found here. 
  • Verification of income eligibility: paystubs, W-2 forms, or any other wage statements, tax filings, bank statements demonstrating regular income or an attestation from employer. 

After applying for the program, you will receive an email from Neighborly Software. You can always check the status of your application by logging into the application portal.

If you or anyone you know who needs assistance and does not live in the city of Santa Ana can apply here: or contact the CA COVID-19 Relief Center: 833-430-2122. 

For any tenants who feel they are a victim of discrimination or harassment, may contact Department of Fair Employment and Housing at 800-884-1684

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