County of Marin - News Releases - Emergency Rental Assistance

For Immediate Release
July 10, 2023

COVID-Related Rental Assistance Winding Down

Waitlist applications accepted through August 1; Funding not guaranteed

This is a joint news release between the County of Marin and Community Action Marin

Marin County, CA – Hundreds of Marin County residents who were unable to pay rent due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic have found rent relief from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). However, the program will be ending soon.

ERAP is an emergency program that helps keep Marin County’s most at-risk tenants in their homes by providing financial assistance to those who experienced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Low-income Marin County residents and landlords can apply to receive rental assistance for back rent due since April 1, 2020.

To date, more than $15 million in state and federal rental relief funds have been distributed to Marin households through landlords via the ERAP program.  More than 1,850 applications have been funded or approved for funding. In the past eight months alone, more than $4.3 million has been distributed to 600-plus rental households via landlords.

Approximately $1.7 million of ERAP funding remains to be dispersed, which may not be enough to serve the over 300 applications pending under review and on the waitlist. Data shows that the pace of ERAP funding distribution has been faster than anticipated, with monthly disbursement averages between $600,000 and $800,000. Without additional funding for ERAP, the number of applications received and number of additional applications on the current waitlist means that the waiting list will need to close within the month, or as early as August 1.

Community Action Marin administers the program in partnership with the County of Marin. ERAP has helped provide stability, pay bills, and prevent homelessness for many households in Marin.

“Our priority continues to be keeping people housed, but the work also encompasses increasing stabilization through supportive services,” said Chandra Alexandre, Chief Executive Officer for Community Action Marin. “We want to pay for rent, and moreover ensure that we’re able to strengthen our community’s well-being. Building trusted relationships is at the heart of how we have deployed Emergency Rental Assistance Program in partnership with the county.”

There is no immigration status requirement to apply for the funds. Eligible households must be a resident of Marin and meet one of the following:

  • Experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly, to the coronavirus pandemic
  • One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness; or housing instability as defined by U.S. Treasury guidelines.
  • Household income at or below 30% of Area Median Income

Applications for the waitlist can be made using the ERAP online portal. Applicants need an email address and a password to enter the portal; instructions are on the website as well. The site allows easy access to join the waitlist, review the application, provide additional information, or obtain a letter to verify participation in the program. Applications must be received on or before August 1 to join the waitlist. The County’s waitlist does not assure that applicants will be approved to receive rental assistance.

In the absence of new funding for the program, existing funds will be prioritized for payment in rank order as follows:

  • Applications under review: at lowest income level below 30% AMI OR those with an eviction notice for up to 3 months of assistance, then
  • Waitlist applications: at lowest income level below 30% AMI AND those with an eviction notice for up to 3 months of assistance. 

Property owners may call the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit at (415) 473-6450 for assistance on rights and responsibilities. Renters are encouraged to contact Legal Aid of Marin at (415) 492-0230, extension 102, for inquiries on eviction protections.


Leelee Thomas
Deputy Director, Housing and Federal Grants Division
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6697
Email: Leelee Thomas
Affordable Housing webpage