COVID-19 Rental Assistance

Those suffering a financial hardship due to COVID-19 have a few options to help with rent expenses.

Emergency Rental Assistance from City of Goleta

The City of Goleta is providing rental assistance funds through the Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County, to qualified City of Goleta residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. job loss, reduction in wages, etc.). Upon application approval, applicants may receive up to $5,000 or up to 3 months of current and/or past-due rental expenses, whichever is less. Once approved, assistance payments to applicants will be paid directly to landlords.


  • Must provide proof of residency in the City of Goleta
  • Household income must be 80% or below the area median income (AMI)
  • Must demonstrate loss of income related to COVID-19, with eligibility starting last year on March 13, 2020, and must provide:
    • Documentation of past 2 months of income for the entire household
    • Proof of lease or rental agreement

Additional documentation may be required during the review process. To apply, go to The application is also available in Spanish.

If you need assistance or have questions, contact the Housing Authority at 805-735-8351 or email

Rental and Utility Assistance from Santa Barbara County

There is still time to apply for the County of Santa Barbara’s Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance program. The County has allocated more than $13 million towards this program through the United Way of Santa Barbara County to eligible County of Santa Barbara residents that have experienced a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and can demonstrate the need for support. This Emergency Rent Assistance Program is intended to prevent homelessness by providing rent and utility assistance to residents.

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.

There are strict eligibility requirements for this funding opportunity, please review at   

Click here to complete the application (also available in Spanish here). The application process will be open until all funds are expended or by December 30, 2021, whichever is first. For assistance, please call (805) 965-8591 or email

The California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program

If you’re an income eligible renter who has experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and have past due rent, or you’re a landlord who has experienced a loss in income because of unpaid rent, you may be eligible to get financial assistance now through the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program.

The program is not first come first served, rather priority will be given to those households with the greatest risk of being evicted.

Who Can Apply?:

  • This program applies to residential landlords and renters.
  • Landlords who have income-eligible renters experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 with past due rent. Review full eligibility requirements HERE.
  • Renters who have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19, have past due rent or utilities, and have a household income that is not more than 80% of the area median income. Review full eligibility requirements HERE.

Learn more at or call 833.430.2122.