Applications for Sacramento Emergency Rental Assistance (SERA) are now being accepted to help low-income residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sacramento City Council last week approved the additional $31.7 million in state and federal assistance. The program will be administered by Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA). This is in addition to the $5.3 million City Council approved in City CARES Act funding for the first round of SERA.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the SERA program — a joint effort among the City of Sacramento, SHRA and the County of Sacramento — has helped approximately 930 City families stay in their homes.
“This rental and utility assistance program is going to help those in our communities who need it most,” said Danielle Foster, the City’s housing policy manager. “The goal is to assist as many families as possible, so we encourage all income-eligible families to apply. SHRA and local community-based organizations will help get these funds out to the community as fast as possible, including those residents who are most difficult to reach due to language and cultural barriers.”
Applications will be accepted Feb. 25 through March 19 on SHRA’s website. Landlords can apply for assistance on behalf of their tenants and tenants may also apply on their own behalf.
To be eligible for the assistance, applicants must:
- Be renting housing in the City or unincorporated County of Sacramento;
- Have household gross annual income at or below low-income limits ranging from $48,350 for a household of one to $91,150 for a household of 8;
- Have at least one household member that is unemployed, or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or has experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; AND
- Demonstrate a risk of being unhoused or housing instability.
Eligible applications will be placed in a computerized random order. Priority will be given to those households who earn 50 percent of the area median income or less, those who have been unemployed for 90 days prior to the application date and to those who owe rent arrears.
The funds can be used to pay rent and utility bills owed that was incurred from April 1, 2020 through March 1, 2021. Immigration status does not impact household eligibility to utilize the State funds.
Those who have previously applied to SERA and/or received funds for rental assistance can and will need to reapply if they have additional rental assistance needs.
Additional details on eligibility requirements and the application process can be found on SHRA’s at shra.org/sera or call 916-449-1266 for additional assistance. Bilingual assistance will be available for applicants at 916-449-1266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other COVID-19 resources including Wi-Fi access, youth programs and help accessing financial resources can be found on the City’s COVID relief website.