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San Francisco to Start Accepting Rent Relief Applications on Friday

On Friday, San Francisco will begin accepting applications to its rent relief program for residents struggling with housing insecurity due to the pandemic. The city has over $60 million in federal funds to distribute to renters and landlords who have experienced COVID-related financial hardships. The program is in addition to the state’s rent relief program, which is due to distribute $30 million in aid to San Franciscans.

To qualify, residents must have a household income at or below 80% of the city’s median income of $102,450 for individuals (approximately $81,960) and $146,350 for a family of four (approximately $117,080), and must have been eligible for unemployment benefits or experienced household income reduction.

The city said the program is designed to reach the most vulnerable tenants, including people who have extremely low incomes or have been homeless.

“We need to work together with the city to make this program a success, and reach folks who may be skeptical that the government is there for them,” said Gen Fujioka with the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition earlier this week. “And we need to work together to make sure the system is accountable.”

Funds provided by the program will cover unpaid rent for April 2021 and after (apply here). For those needing help with unpaid rent from April 2020 to March 2021, the city encourages people to apply to the state’s Housing is Key program (apply here).

In their application, tenants can provide a past-due rent notice, an eviction notice or something that documents an unhealthy or unstable living situation. Those who are part of a sublease agreement can also apply, as long as the landlord can confirm that the applicant lives and rents on the property.

According to the program’s website, it may take 2 to 3 weeks for an application to be processed. It may then take an additional 2 to 6 weeks to receive the aid.

Several community-based organizations can help tenants fill out their applications. To connect with one, call 311 or contact the San Francisco Anti-Displacement Coalition.

— KQED’s Erika Kelly and Bay City News

Copyright 2021 KQED